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Morphofunctional characteristics of endothelial cells in coronary atherosclerosis

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Author(s): Lačković Vesna | Tanasković Irena | Radak Đ. | Nešić Vesna | Gluvić Z. | Lačković Milena | Ašanin B. | Radović S. | Stanković Vesna | Đurić J. | Nešić Jelena | Kanjuh V.

Journal: Archives of Biological Sciences
ISSN 0354-4664

Volume: 63;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 921;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Endothelial cell | cellular adhesion molecules | atherosclerosis

ABSTRACT
Atherosclerosis represents a complex disease which encompasses all the components of the vascular wall. Nevertheless, according to all known theories of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, the key role in this process belongs to the endothelial cells, i.e. the changes that they are subjected to especially during the initial stage of the lesion. In this review we have attempted, according to the results of our continuous research and numerous data from available modern literature, to show the cytohistological characteristics of endothelial cells, as well as the changes they are subjected to in all stages of atherosclerosis. In the first part we have reviewed the ultrastructure, function and pathology of the endothelium, subcellular organization of the endothelial cells, their specific characteristics, micro compartments and intercellular junctions. In the second part we have described the morphological and functional changes of endothelial cells during atherosclerosis. Special attention is given to the role of endothelial cells in the development of the initial stage of lesion: endothelial dysfunction, factors that cause the increased expression of adhesion molecules in endothelial cells and mechanisms that cause leukocytes to migrate through the endothelial layer to subendothelial connective tissue in the early stage of atherosclerosis.
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