Preclinical models of vascular inflammation

  • H. Andreas Kalmes
  • Christopher F. Toombs
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


As inflammation is becoming increasingly viewed as a major and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, longstanding models of atherosclerosis and vascular injury must now be evaluated in the context of those pathological features that develop in response to inflammation. It is quite possible that our understanding of existing therapies is about to change dramatically, when the concept of vascular inflammation is overlaid onto the progression of cardiovascular disease. Perhaps an agent as old as aspirin with its bona fide benefit in cardiovascular disease will experience a shift in the attribution of its pharmacological effects, where the anti-inflammatory effects become equally important for cardiovascular disease as the effects on platelet cyclooxygenase.

For preclinical models to be of predictive value in human disease, there must be reasonable parity of biological pathways between man and lower vertebrates. Such may be the case with elements of biology that are highly homologous across mammalian species such as norepinehrine and adrenergic receptors or heparin and anticoagulation, where strong ties have been established between preclinical and clinical pharmacology. The inflammatory process and the immune system operate in a very complex system of activating and attenuating signals, many of which are biologicals that are only partially understood or have yet to be discovered. Further, the parity between the inflammation and immune pathways between man and preclinically tested species may not be as strong as in other areas of biology. While the contribution of inflammation to vascular disease has been recognized, our ability to thoroughly understand its contribution is currently hindered, but no doubt will improve as technology improves.


Plaque Rupture Intimal Hyperplasia Arterial Injury Vulnerable Plaque Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Andreas Kalmes
    • 1
  • Christopher F. Toombs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Inflammation ResearchAmgen Washington Inc.SeattleUSA

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