Atherosclerosis is thought to be an inflammatory disorder. What is the role of macrophages in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques?

Macrophages play a major role in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disorder characterized by the buildup of plaque on arterial walls, which can lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Macrophages are white blood cells that help to remove foreign agents from the body and they make up a significant portion of inflammatory cells present in the atheromatous plaques. They infiltrate areas of damaged or injured endothelial lining and accumulate lipids, resulting in their transformation into foam-like cells (Keaney et al., 2020). The accumulation of lipids leads to nodule formation which further exacerbates inflammation.

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