API

Aop: 237

AOP Title

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Secretion of inflammatory cytokines after cellular sensing of the stressor leading to plaque progression

Short name:

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Secretion of inflammatory cytokines leading to plaque progression

Authors

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Sarah Søs Poulsen, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment
Ulla Vogel, The National Research Centre for the Working Environment
Håkan Wallin, Statens Arbeidsmiljøinstitutt
Sabina Halappanavar, Health Canada
Carole Yauk, Health Canada

Point of Contact

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Sarah Søs Poulsen

Contributors

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  • Sarah Søs Poulsen

Status

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Author status OECD status OECD project SAAOP status
Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite


This AOP was last modified on June 29, 2017 01:51

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Revision dates for related pages

Page Revision Date/Time
Sensing of the stressor by pulmonary cells June 29, 2017 02:24
Increased production of pulmonary, pro-inflammatory cytokines June 29, 2017 02:25
Increased production of pulmonary SAA June 29, 2017 02:27
Formation of HDL-SAA June 29, 2017 02:28
Increased systemic total cholesterol pool June 29, 2017 02:32
Foam cell formation June 29, 2017 02:32
Plaque progression in arteries June 29, 2017 02:33
Sensing of the stressor leads to Pro-inflammatory cytokines increased June 29, 2017 02:36
Pro-inflammatory cytokines increased leads to SAA production increased June 29, 2017 02:37
SAA production increased leads to HDL-SAA formation June 29, 2017 02:37
HDL-SAA formation leads to Systemic cholesterol increased June 29, 2017 02:38
Systemic cholesterol increased leads to Foam cell formation June 29, 2017 02:38
HDL-SAA formation leads to Foam cell formation June 29, 2017 02:38
Foam cell formation leads to Plaque progression June 29, 2017 02:39

Abstract

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Provide a concise and informative summation of the AOP under development that can stand-alone from the AOP page. Abstracts should typically be 200-400 words in length (similar to an abstract for a journal article). Suggested content for the abstract includes the following: (1) the background/purpose for initiation of the AOP’s development (if there was a specific intent); (2) a brief description of the MIE, AO, and/or major KEs that define the pathway; (3) a short summation of the overall weight of evidence supporting the AOP and identification of major knowledge gaps (if any); (4) a brief statement about how the AOP may be applied. The aim is to capture the highlights of the AOP and its potential scientific and regulatory relevance.

Instructions

To add or edit the Abstract, click Edit in the upper right hand menu on the AOP page, bringing the user to a page where they can edit fields of the AOP. Under the Abstract field, a text editable form provides ability to edit the Abstract.  Clicking ‘Update AOP’ will update these fields.


Background (optional)

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, being responsible for 31% of all deaths in 2012 (WHO: http://www.who.int). The term CVD covers all diseases of the cardiovascular system, including atherosclerosis, which is manifested as increased plaque deposition or build-up in the arteries. Atherosclerosis is normally asymptotic disease and is initiated by a biological, chemical or physical insult to the artery walls. This leads to the expression of cell adhesion molecules (selectins, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1) on the endothelial lining of the arteries, which facilitates the activation, recruitment, and migration of monocytes through the endothelial monolayer [1;2]. Inside the intima layer, the monocytes differentiate into macrophages and internalize fatty deposits (mainly oxidized low-density lipoprotein). This results in them transforming into foam cells, which is a major component of the atherosclerotic fatty streaks. The fatty streaks reduce the elasticity of the artery walls and the foam cells promote a pro-inflammatory environment by secretion of cytokines and ROS. In addition, foam cells also induce the recruitment of smooth muscle cells to the intima. Added together, these changes lead to the formation of plaques on the artery walls. A fibrous cap of collagen and vascular smooth muscle cells protects the necrotic core and stabilizes the plaque [3;4]. However, blood clots can be formed if the plaque ruptures. These may travel with the bloodstream and obstruct the blood flow of smaller vessels, eg. the coronary arteries, which ultimately can lead to myocardial infarction.


Inhalation of particulate matter, chemicals and pathogens have been related to increased pulmonary inflammation. Whereas a normal immune reaction is crucial for effective elimination of incoming threats, chronic and unresolved inflammation has been linked to both adverse pulmonary and adverse systemic effects in humans. In concordance with this, various retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies have linked pulmonary exposure to respirable air particulates with increased the risk of developing CVD [5-8]. Inhalation of particles has been proposed to affect the cardiovascular system in several different ways, including through disruption of vasomotor function and through acceleration of plaque progression in atherosclerosis [9;10]. We recently showed that a sustained pulmonary inflammatory response occurs concurrently with a persistent acute phase response (APR) in the lungs and in the plasma after exposure to particulate matter in mice [11-13]. Both responses were dose-dependent [14] and the most differentially expressed genes were the serum amyloid A (Saa) isoforms, with Saa3 showing the greatest fold changes [11;13-15]. The SAAs are characterized as APR proteins. Similar to the APR protein C-reactive protein (CRP), elevated plasma levels of SAA protein are a risk factor for CVD in human [16-19]. However, in contrast to CRP, increased plasma protein levels of SAA is still related to CVD after Mendelian randomization, suggesting a causal relationship [20;21]. Indeed, studies in rodents have shown that increased levels of SAA increase plaque progression in ApoE−/− mice [22;23].


Summary of the AOP

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Stressors

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Describes stressors known to trigger the MIE and provides evidence supporting that initiation. This will often be a list of prototypical compounds demonstrated to interact with the target molecule in the manner detailed in the MIE description to initiate a given pathway (e.g., 2,3,7,8-TCDD as a prototypical AhR agonist; 17α-ethynyl estradiol as a prototypical ER agonist). However, depending on the information available, this could also refer to chemical categories (i.e., groups of chemicals with defined structural features known to trigger the MIE). It can also include non-chemical stressors such as genetic or environmental factors. The evidence supporting the stressor will typically consist of a brief description and citation of literature showing that particular stressors can trigger the MIE.

Instructions

To add a stressor associated with an AOP, under “Summary of the AOP” click ‘Add Stressor’ will bring user to the “New Aop Stressor” page. In the Name field, user can search for stressor by name. Choosing a stressor from the resulting drop down populates the field. Selection of an Evidence level from the drop down menu and add any supporting evidence in the text box. Click ‘Add stressor’ to add the stressor to the AOP page.


Molecular Initiating Event

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Title Short name
Sensing of the stressor by pulmonary cells Sensing of the stressor

Key Events

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Title Short name
Increased production of pulmonary, pro-inflammatory cytokines Pro-inflammatory cytokines increased
Increased production of pulmonary SAA SAA production increased
Formation of HDL-SAA HDL-SAA formation
Increased systemic total cholesterol pool Systemic cholesterol increased
Foam cell formation Foam cell formation

Adverse Outcome

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Title Short name
Plaque progression in arteries Plaque progression

Relationships Between Two Key Events (Including MIEs and AOs)

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Title Directness Evidence Quantitative Understanding
Sensing of the stressor leads to Pro-inflammatory cytokines increased Directly leads to Not Specified Not Specified
Pro-inflammatory cytokines increased leads to SAA production increased Directly leads to Not Specified Not Specified
SAA production increased leads to HDL-SAA formation Directly leads to Not Specified Not Specified
HDL-SAA formation leads to Systemic cholesterol increased Directly leads to Not Specified Not Specified
Systemic cholesterol increased leads to Foam cell formation Indirectly leads to Not Specified Not Specified
HDL-SAA formation leads to Foam cell formation Directly leads to Not Specified Not Specified
Foam cell formation leads to Plaque progression Directly leads to Not Specified Not Specified

Network View

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Life Stage Applicability

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Is the AOP specific to certain tissues, life stages / age classes? Indicate if there are critical life stages, where exposure must occur, to results in the final adverse effect. Or specify if there are key events along the pathway which are dependent on the life stage although the AOP is known to be initiated regardless of life stage. Indicate also if the AOP is associated also with age- or sex-dependence.

Instructions

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To edit a life stage term on an AOP page, under “Life Stage Applicability” click ‘Edit.’  User will be directed to a page entitled “Editing AOP Life Stage” where they can edit the Evidence field using the drop down menu. Clicking ‘Update Aop life stage’ will update the Evidence field and redirect the user back to the AOP page.


Taxonomic Applicability

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Indicate the relevant domain of applicability in terms of taxa.

Instructions

To add a taxonomic term to an AOP page, under “Taxonomic Applicability” select ‘add taxonomic term.’ User will be directed to a page entitled “Adding Taxonomic Term to AOP.” The user can search for and select an existing term from the drop down list of existing terms to populate the “Term” field. If a relevant term does not exist, click ‘Request New Taxon Term’ to request a term from AOP-Wiki administrators. Click ‘Add taxonomic term’ to add this term to the AOP page. Evidence can be left blank and added later.

To edit a taxonomic term on an AOP page, under “Taxonomic Applicability” click ‘Edit.’  User will be directed to a page entitled “Editing AOP Taxonomic Term” where they can edit the Evidence field using the drop down menu. Clicking ‘Update taxonomic term’ will update the Evidence field and redirect the user back to the AOP page.


Sex Applicability

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Graphical Representation

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Click to download graphical representation template

Overall Assessment of the AOP

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This section addresses the relevant domain of applicability (i.e., in terms of taxa, sex, life stage, etc.) and weight of evidence for the overall hypothesised AOP (i.e., including the MIE, KEs and AO) as a basis to consider appropriate regulatory application (e.g., priority setting, testing strategies or risk assessment). It draws upon the evidence assembled for each KER as one of several components which contribute to relative confidence in supporting information for the entire hypothesised pathway. An important component in assessing confidence in supporting information as a basis to consider regulatory application of AOPs beyond that described in Section 6 is the essentiality of each of the key events as a component of the entire pathway. This is normally investigated in specifically-designed stop/reversibility studies or knockout models (i.e., those where a key event can be blocked or prevented). Assessment of the overall AOP also contributes to the identification of KEs for which confidence in the quantitative relationship with the AO is greatest (i.e., to facilitate determining the most sensitive predictor of the AO).

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Domain of Applicability

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The relevant domain(s) of applicability in terms of sex, life-stage, taxa, and other aspects of biological context are defined in this section. Domain of applicability is informed by the “Description” and “Taxonomic Relevance” section of each KE description and the “Description of the KER” section of each KER description. The relevant domain of applicability of the AOP as a whole will most often be defined based on the most narrowly restricted of its KEs. For example, if most of the KEs apply to either sex, but one is relevant to females only, the domain of applicability of the AOP as a whole would generally be limited to females. While much of the detail defining the domain of applicability may be found in the individual KE descriptions, the rationale for defining the relevant domain of applicability of the overall AOP should be briefly summarised on the AOP page.

Instructions

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Essentiality of the Key Events

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The essentiality of various of the KEs is influential in considering confidence in an overall hypothesised AOP for potential regulatory application being secondary only to biological plausibility of KERs (Meek et al., 2014; 2014a). The defining question for determining essentiality (included in Annex 1) relates to whether or not downstream KEs and/or the AO is prevented if an upstream event is experimentally blocked. It is assessed, generally, then, on the basis of direct experimental evidence of the absence/reduction of downstream KEs when an upstream KE is blocked or diminished (e.g., in null animal models or reversibility studies). Weight of evidence for essentiality of KEs would be considered high if there is direct evidence from specifically designed experimental studies illustrating essentiality for at least one of the important key events [e.g., stop/reversibility studies, antagonism, knock out models, etc.) moderate if there is indirect 25 evidence that experimentally induced change of an expected modulating factor attenuates or augments a key event (e.g., augmentation of proliferative response (KEupstream) leading to increase in tumour formation (KEdownstream or AO)) and weak if there is no or contradictory experimental evidence of the essentiality of any of the KEs (Annex 1).

Instructions

To edit the “Essentiality of the Key Events” section, on an AOP page, in the upper right hand menu, click ‘Edit.’ This brings you to a page entitled, “Editing AOP.” Scroll down to the “Essentiality of the Key Events” section, where a text entry box allows you to submit text. In the upper right hand menu, click ‘Update AOP’ to save your changes and return to the AOP page.  The new text should appear under the “Essentiality of the Key Events” section on the AOP page.


Weight of Evidence Summary

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This involves evaluation of the Overall AOP based on Relative Level of Confidence in the KERs, Essentiality of the KEs and Degree of Quantitative Understanding based on Annexes 1 and 2. Annex 1 (“Guidance for assessing relative level of confidence in the Overall AOP”) guides consideration of the weight of evidence or degree of confidence in the predictive relationship between pairs of KEs based on KER descriptions and support for essentiality of KEs. It is designed to facilitate assignment of categories of high, moderate or low against specific considerations for each a series of defined element based on current experience in assessing MOAs/AOPs. In addition to increasing consistency through delineation of defining questions for the elements and the nature of evidence associated with assignment to each of the categories, importantly, the objective of completion of Annex 1 is to transparently delineate the rationales for the assignment based on the specified considerations. While it is not necessary to repeat lengthy text which appears in earlier parts of the document, the entries for the rationales should explicitly express the reasoning for assignment to the categories, based on the considerations for high, moderate or low weight of evidence included in the columns for each of the relevant elements. 24 While the elements can be addressed separately for each of the KERs, the essentiality of the KEs within the AOP is considered collectively since their interdependence is often illustrated through prevention or augmentation of an earlier or later key event. Where it is not possible to experimentally assess the essentiality of the KEs within the AOP (i.e., there is no experimental model to prevent or augment the key events in the pathway), this should be noted. Identified limitations of the database to address the biological plausibility of the KERs, the essentiality of the KEs and empirical support for the KERs are influential in assigning the categories for degree of confidence (i.e., high, moderate or low). Consideration of the confidence in the overall AOP is based, then, on the extent of available experimental data on the essentiality of KEs and the collective consideration of the qualitative weight of evidence for each of the KERs, in the context of their interdependence leading to adverse effect in the overall AOP. Assessment of the overall AOP is summarized in the Network View, which represents the degree of confidence in the weight of evidence both for the rank ordered elements of essentiality of the key events and biological plausibility and empirical support for the interrelationships between KEs. The AOP-Wiki provides such a network graphic based on the information provided in the MIE, KE, AO, and KER tables. The Key Event Essentiality calls are used to determine the size of each key event node with larger sizes representing higher confidence for essentiality. The Weight of Evidence summary in the KER table is used to determine the width of the lines connecting the key events with thicker lines representing higher confidence.

Instructions

To edit the “Weight of Evidence Summary” section, on an AOP page, in the upper right hand menu, click ‘Edit.’ This brings you to a page entitled, “Editing AOP.” Scroll down to the “Weight of Evidence Summary”  section, where a text entry box allows you to submit text. In the upper right hand menu, click ‘Update AOP’ to save your changes and return to the AOP page.  The new text should appear under the “Weight of Evidence Summary” section on the AOP page.


Quantitative Considerations

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The extent of quantitative understanding of the various KERs in the overall hypothesised AOP is also critical in consideration of potential regulatory application. For some applications (e.g. doseresponse analysis in in depth risk assessment), quantitative characterisation of downstream KERs may be essential while for others, quantitative understanding of upstream KERs may be important (e.g., QSAR modelling for category formation for testing). Because evidence that contributes to quantitative understanding of the KER is generally not mutually exclusive with the empirical support for the KER, evidence that contributes to quantitative understanding should generally be considered as part of the evaluation of the weight of evidence supporting the KER (see Annex 1, footnote b). General guidance on the degree of quantitative understanding that would be characterised as weak, moderate, or strong is provided in Annex 2.

Instructions

To edit the “Quantitative Considerations” section, on an AOP page, in the upper right hand menu, click ‘Edit.’ This brings you to a page entitled, “Editing AOP.” Scroll down to the “Quantitative Considerations” section, where a text entry box allows you to submit text. In the upper right hand menu, click ‘Update AOP’ to save your changes and return to the AOP page.  The new text should appear under the “Quantitative Considerations” section on the AOP page.


Considerations for Potential Applications of the AOP (optional)

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At their discretion, the developer may include in this section discussion of the potential applications of an AOP to support regulatory decision-making. This may include, for example, possible utility for test guideline development or refinement, development of integrated testing and assessment approaches, development of (Q)SARs / or chemical profilers to facilitate the grouping of chemicals for subsequent read-across, screening level hazard assessments or even risk assessment. While it is challenging to foresee all potential regulatory application of AOPs and any application will ultimately lie within the purview of regulatory agencies, potential applications may be apparent as the AOP is being developed, particularly if it was initiated with a particular application in mind. This optional section is intended to provide the developer with an opportunity to suggest potential regulatory applications and describe his or her rationale. Detailing such considerations can aid the process of transforming narrative descriptions of AOPs into practical tools. In this context, it is necessarily beneficial to involve members of the regulatory risk assessment community on the development and assessment team. The Network view which is generated based on assessment of weight of evidence/degree of confidence in the hypothesized AOP taking into account the elements described in Section 7 provides a useful summary of relevant information as a basis to consider appropriate application in a regulatory context. Consideration of application needs then, to take into consideration the following rank ordered qualitative elements: Confidence in biological plausibility for each of the KERs Confidence in essentiality of the KEs Empirical support for each of the KERs and overall AOP The extent of weight of evidence/confidence in both these qualitative elements and that of the quantitative understanding for each of the KERs (e.g., is the MIE known, is quantitative understanding restricted to early or late key events) is also critical in determining appropriate application. For example, if the confidence and quantitative understanding of each KER in a hypothesised AOP are low and or low/moderate and the evidence for essentiality of KEs weak (Section 7), it might be considered as appropriate only for applications with less potential for impact (e.g., prioritisation, category formation for testing) versus those that have immediate implications potentially for risk management (e.g., in depth assessment). If confidence in quantitative understanding of late key events is high, this might be sufficient for an in depth assessment. The analysis supporting the Network view is also essential in identifying critical data gaps based on envisaged regulatory application.

Instructions

To edit the “Considerations for Potential Applications of the AOP” section, on an AOP page, in the upper right hand menu, click ‘Edit.’ This brings you to a page entitled, “Editing AOP.” Scroll down to the “Considerations for Potential Applications of the AOP” section, where a text entry box allows you to submit text. In the upper right hand menu, click ‘Update AOP’ to save your changes and return to the AOP page.  The new text should appear under the “Considerations for Potential Applications of the AOP” section on the AOP page.


References

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   1.   Hansson GK, Libby P. The immune response in atherosclerosis: a double-edged sword. Nat Rev Immunol. 2006; 6(7):508-519.

   2.   Cybulsky MI, Iiyama K, Li H, Zhu S, Chen M, Iiyama M et al. A major role for VCAM-1, but not ICAM-1, in early atherosclerosis. J Clin Invest. 2001; 107(10):1255-1262.

   3.   Libby P. Inflammation in atherosclerosis. Nature. 2002; 420(6917):868-874.

   4.   Virmani R, Kolodgie FD, Burke AP, Finn AV, Gold HK, Tulenko TN et al. Atherosclerotic plaque progression and vulnerability to rupture: angiogenesis as a source of intraplaque hemorrhage. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005; 25(10):2054-2061.

   5.   Clancy L, Goodman P, Sinclair H, Dockery DW. Effect of air-pollution control on death rates in Dublin, Ireland: an intervention study. Lancet. 2002; 360(9341):1210-1214.

   6.   Dockery DW, Pope CA, III, Xu X, Spengler JD, Ware JH, Fay ME et al. An association between air pollution and mortality in six U.S. cities. N Engl J Med. 1993; 329(24):1753-1759.

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   8.   Pope CA, III, Burnett RT, Thurston GD, Thun MJ, Calle EE, Krewski D et al. Cardiovascular mortality and long-term exposure to particulate air pollution: epidemiological evidence of general pathophysiological pathways of disease. Circulation. 2004; 109(1):71-77.

   9.   Cao Y, Jacobsen NR, Danielsen PH, Lenz AG, Stoeger T, Loft S et al. Vascular effects of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in dyslipidemic ApoE-/- mice and cultured endothelial cells. Toxicol Sci. 2014; 138(1):104-116.

10.   Moller P, Christophersen DV, Jacobsen NR, Skovmand A, Gouveia AC, Andersen MH et al. Atherosclerosis and vasomotor dysfunction in arteries of animals after exposure to combustion-derived particulate matter or nanomaterials. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2016; 46(5):437-476.

11.   Bourdon JA, Halappanavar S, Saber AT, Jacobsen NR, Williams A, Wallin H et al. Hepatic and pulmonary toxicogenomic profiles in mice intratracheally instilled with carbon black nanoparticles reveal pulmonary inflammation, acute phase response, and alterations in lipid homeostasis. Toxicol Sci. 2012; 127(2):474-484.

12.   Poulsen SS, Saber AT, Mortensen A, Szarek J, Wu D, Williams A et al. Changes in cholesterol homeostasis and acute phase response link pulmonary exposure to multi-walled carbon nanotubes to risk of cardiovascular disease. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 283(3):210-222.

13.   Poulsen SS, Saber AT, Williams A, Andersen O, Kobler C, Atluri R et al. MWCNTs of different physicochemical properties cause similar inflammatory responses, but differences in transcriptional and histological markers of fibrosis in mouse lungs. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 284(1):16-32.

14.   Saber AT, Jacobsen NR, Jackson P, Poulsen SS, Kyjovska ZO, Halappanavar S et al. Particle-induced pulmonary acute phase response may be the causal link between particle inhalation and cardiovascular disease. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2014; 6(6):517-531.

15.   Husain M, Saber AT, Guo C, Jacobsen NR, Jensen KA, Yauk CL et al. Pulmonary instillation of low doses of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in mice leads to particle retention and gene expression changes in the absence of inflammation. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013; 269(3):250-262.

16.   Johnson BD, Kip KE, Marroquin OC, Ridker PM, Kelsey SF, Shaw LJ et al. Serum amyloid A as a predictor of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular outcome in women: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-Sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE). Circulation. 2004; 109(6):726-732.

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18.   Mezaki T, Matsubara T, Hori T, Higuchi K, Nakamura A, Nakagawa I et al. Plasma levels of soluble thrombomodulin, C-reactive protein, and serum amyloid A protein in the atherosclerotic coronary circulation. Jpn Heart J. 2003; 44(5):601-612.

19.   Ridker PM, Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Rifai N. C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. N Engl J Med. 2000; 342(12):836-843.

20.   Elliott P, Chambers JC, Zhang W, Clarke R, Hopewell JC, Peden JF et al. Genetic Loci associated with C-reactive protein levels and risk of coronary heart disease. JAMA. 2009; 302(1):37-48.

21.   Pai JK, Mukamal KJ, Rexrode KM, Rimm EB. C-reactive protein (CRP) gene polymorphisms, CRP levels, and risk of incident coronary heart disease in two nested case-control studies. PLoS One. 2008; 3(1):e1395.

22.   Christophersen DV, Moller P, Thomsen MB, Lykkesfeldt J, Loft S, Wallin H et al. Accelerated atheroslerosis and pulmonary inflammation caused by repeated i.t. instillations with recombinant Serum Amyloid A.  2017.

23.   Dong Z, Wu T, Qin W, An C, Wang Z, Zhang M et al. Serum amyloid A directly accelerates the progression of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Mol Med. 2011; 17(11-12):1357-1364.