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Macrophage scavenger receptor class A: A multifunctional receptor in atherosclerosis

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Author: Winther, M.P.J. de · Dijk, K.W. van · Havekes, L.M. · Hofker, M.H.
Institution: Gaubius Instituut TNO
Source:Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2, 20, 290-297
Identifier: 235443
Keywords: Animals · Arteriosclerosis · Cell Adhesion · Cell Communication · Foam Cells · Humans · Immunity · Receptors, Immunologic · Receptors, Scavenger · Scavenger Receptors, Class A


In atherogenesis, elevated plasma levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) lead to the chronic presence of LDL in the arterial wall. There, LDL is modified (eg, oxidized), and these modified lipoproteins activate endothelial cells, which attract circulating monocytes. These monocytes enter the vessel wall, differentiate into macrophages, and subject the modified lipoproteins to endocytosis through scavenger receptor pathways. This unrestricted uptake, which is not limited by intracellular cholesterol levels, eventually leads to the formation of lipid-filled foam cells, the initial step in atherosclerosis. Macrophage scavenger receptor class A (SRA) is thought to be one of the main receptors involved in foam cell formation, mediating the influx of lipids into the macrophages. In addition to this role in modified lipoprotein uptake by macrophages, the SRA has been shown to be important in the inflammatory response in host defense, cellular activation, adhesion, and cell-cell interaction. Given the importance of these processes in atherogenesis, these latter functions may prove to make the SRA a multifunctional player in the atherosclerotic process. Chemicals/CAS: MSR1 protein, human; Receptors, Immunologic; Receptors, Scavenger; Scavenger Receptors, Class A