Hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis

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Science  17 Sep 1976:
Vol. 193, Issue 4258, pp. 1094-1100
DOI: 10.1126/science.822515


These studies provide new insight into the complex mechanisms wherby hyperlipidemia causes progressive atherosclerosis. It has been shown that physical injury to the endothelial lining of arteries sets off a process which probably is an attempt at healing the injury but which can lead to atherosclerosis. It has also been found that chemical agents such as homocystine can produce a similar series of events leading to atherosclerosis. These events include focal loss of endothelium, exposure of subendothelial connective tissue, and adherence of platelets followed by release of factors that stimulate intimal smooth muscle proliferation. The present studies indicate that the effects of chronic hyperlipidemia are complex in that the condition results not only in the deposition of lipids in the atheromatous lesions but that it may produce the primary endothelial injury that initiates the process of atherosclerosis as well.