Is thrombin a key player in the coagulation-atherogenesis maze?
In addition to its established roles in the haemostatic system, thrombin is an intriguing coagulation protease demonstrating an array of effects on endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), monocytes, and platelets, all of which are involved in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. There is mounting evidence that thrombin acts as a powerful modulator of many processes like regulation of vascular tone, permeability, migration and proliferation of VSMC, recruitment of monocytes into the atherosclerotic lesions, induction of diverse pro-inflammatory markers, and all of these are related to the progression of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies in transgenic mice models indicate that the deletion of the natural thrombin inhibitor heparin cofactor II promotes an accelerated atherogenic state. Moreover, the reduction of thrombin activity levels in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, because of the administration of the direct thrombin inhibitor melagatran, attenuates plaque p
*Sadly, we had to bring back ads too. Hopefully more targeted.