Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammation of the arterial wall and the continuous infiltration of leukocytes into the plaque enhances the progression of the lesion. Because of the scarce detection of neutrophils in atherosclerotic plaques compared to other immune cells, their contribution was largely neglected. However, in the last years studies have accumulated pointing towards the contribution of neutrophils to atherogenesis. In addition, studies are emerging implying a role for neutrophils in advanced atherosclerosis and/or plaque destabilization. Thus, this brief review delivers an overview of the role of neutrophils during early and late stage atherosclerosis.
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