e-Περιοδικό Επιστήμης & Τεχνολογίας

e-Journal of Science & Technology, (e-JST)


Genetic and Epigenetic study in progression of atherosclerosis


Dimitrios Chaniotis MD, PhD, FESC, Frangiskos  Chaniotis MD, PhD, FESC


Technological Educational Institution (TEI) of Athens.

Foundation of Biomedical Research, Academy of Athens


Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease of large and medium sized arteries which is characterized by accumulation of cholesterol in the arterial wall together with proliferation of arterial smooth muscle cells  and accumulation of extracellular matrix components which lead to occlusion of blood vessels, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, amputations, aneurysms and stroke. Chronic inflammatory response with infiltration of monocyte–macrophages and T-cells and endothelial dysfunction are also prominent features of atherogenesis.

Atherosclerosis is a complex multifocal arterial disease involving interactions of multiple genetic and environmental factors. Advances in techniques of molecular

genetics have revealed that genetic polymorphisms significantly influence susceptibility to atherosclerotic vascular diseases. A large number of candidate genes, genetic polymorphisms and susceptibility loci associated with atherosclerotic diseases have been  identified in recent years and their number is rapidly increasing.

The contribution of epigenetic mechanisms to cardiovascular diseases remains poorly understood. It remains unclear whether epigenetic changes are causally related to the pathogenetic features, such as clonal proliferation of  lesion smooth muscle cells, lipid accumulation and  modulation of  immune  responses in the lesions, or whether they merely represent a consequence of the ongoing pathological process.

However, genetic and epigenetic changes could at least partly explain poorly understood environmental and dietary effects on atherogenesis and the rapid increases and decreases in the incidence of coronary heart disease observed in various populations.


Address for correspondence:

Dimitrios I. Chaniotis, MD, PhD, FESC

Prikonisou 18 – Keratsini 18755

Tel. +30 6973049444

E-mail: chaniotisdimitris@gmail.com