Rovatok: Hírek

Workshop speakers Prof. Christian Weber and Prof. Bodo Levkau

Focus on... EAS 2012 Milan

Workshop: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 15.00 – 16.30

Bioactive compounds and inflammation in the arterial wall


Prof. Christian Weber, Germany

Christian Weber is Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention and the Chair in Vascular Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU), Munich, Germany. Prof. Weber is also Professor and head of the Centre for Atherosclerosis Research at Maastricht University. His group has a strong interest in molecular interactions and pathophysiological functions of chemokines and immune cell subsets in vascular disease. His clinical interests are focused on novel biomarkers.

Prof. Bodo Levkau, Germany

Bodo Levkau was appointed to the Dr. H.-H. Deichmann Endowed Chair for Atherosclerosis Research, Institute for Pathophysiology, Essen University Clinic, in 2004. His research interests include mechanisms of apoptosis and survival in the vessel wall and the heart; signal transduction by HDL and HDL-associated lysophospholipids (Sphingosine 1-phosphate) in vasoreactivity, atherosclerosis and heart failure; and the development of novel tracers for cardiovascular molecular imaging.


Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory condition. The disturbed equilibrium of lipid accumulation, and immune responses is modulated by leukocyte trafficking and homeostasis, governed by chemokines and their receptors. In their role as small chemotactic cytokines, chemokines are crucial mediators and regulators of leukocyte trafficking during immune surveillance and inflammation.

In addition, the biologically active sphingolipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) has been shown to play a key role in the immune, inflammatory, and cardiovascular systems. S1P acts on endothelial and smooth muscle cells to regulate arterial tone, vascular permeability, and tissue perfusion. Elevated local S1P levels during inflammation induce endothelial adhesion molecules, recruit inflammatory cells, and activate dendritic cells. The S1P receptor 3 mediates the chemotactic effect of S1P in macrophages and plays a causal role in atherosclerosis by promoting inflammatory monocyte/macrophage recruitment and altering smooth muscle cell behaviour.

Elucidating the role of these bioactive compounds in atherosclerosis may offer potential for the development of novel therapeutic agents for prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Key references

1. Koenen W, Weber C. Chemokines: established and novel targets in atherosclerosis. EMBO Mol Med 2011;3:713–25.

2. Zernecke A, Weber C. Chemokines in the vascular inflammatory response of atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular Research 2010;86:192–201.

3. Keul P, Lucke S, von Wnuck Lipinski K, Bode C, Gräler M, Heusch G, Levkau B. Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 promotes recruitment of monocyte/macrophages in inflammation and atherosclerosis. Circ Res 2011;108:314-23.

4. Sattler KJ, Elbasan S, Keul P, Elter-Schulz M, Bode C, Gräler MH, Bröcker-Preuss M, Budde T, Erbel R, Heusch G, Levkau B. Sphingosine 1-phosphate levels in plasma and HDL are altered in coronary artery disease. Basic Res Cardiol. 2010 Nov;105(6):821-32

Forrás: The European Atherosclerosis Society website

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