Class A scavenger receptors, macrophages, and atherosclerosis

M. F. Linton, S. Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The scope of this review is to discuss the new advances in our understanding of the role of scavenger receptor class A in the initiation and modulation of the atherosclerotic process. Through the approaches of gene manipulation in the mouse model, a substantial body of literature has accumulated that depicts scavenger receptor class A as a central player in atherogenesis. In studies of scavenger receptor class A overexpression in macrophages through bone marrow transplantation using transgenic donor material, recipient mice with hyperlipidemia caused either by apolipoprotein E or LDL receptor deficiency did not show convincing changes in the degree of atherosclerosis development compared with controls. Conversely, the deletion of the scavenger receptor class A gene in the mouse has shown, in a consistent and significant fashion, that this receptor serves a pro-atherogenic function under hyperlipidemic conditions, as both apolipoprotein E and LDL receptor-deficient mice had reduced atherosclerosis in the absence of scavenger receptor class A. In addition, we have recently shown that C57BL/6 mice are protected from diet-induced atherosclerosis when they lack scavenger receptor class A, and that the macrophage is the cell type responsible for the effect of scavenger receptor class A deficiency in reducing lesion formation in C57BL/6 and LDL receptor null mice. Together, these results demonstrate that macrophage scavenger receptor class A contributes significantly to atherosclerotic lesion formation, and suggest that the uptake of oxidized or modified lipoproteins by vessel wall macrophages is a central process in atherogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in lipidology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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