Arteriogenesis (collateral vessel growth) is triggered by fluid shear stress in case of an arterial occlusion. It is an important focus in current cardiovascular research as it might provide new therapeutic opportunities. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying arteriogenesis are not yet completely understood, it has been shown that monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes, in particular NK- and Tlymphocytes, play an important role in arteriogenesis. The present literature study was designed to gain more insight into the precise role of the latter cells in the onset and progression of collateral vessel growth and the interaction between both cell types. Based on the mechanistically similar process angiogenesis, in which the inflammatory response has been investigated in more detail, we suggest here that as a first step in the process of arteriogenesis lymphocytes interact with monocytes to trigger a cascade of biochemical processes eventually leading to collateral artery growth
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