VESSEL WALL HEALING
The project is aimed at unraveling the pathophysiology of healing processes in the vessel wall and is more specifically based on studies of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate the function of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in atherosclerosis with particular focus on plaque stability and in the formation of intimal hyperplasia in in-stent stenosis, restenosis and vein graft failure. Utilizing a large biobank of human atherectomy samples (BiKE) we speculate if human lesions retrieved at surgery could be used to further examine healing processes in the human atheroma. Clinical observations provide a large body of evidence that a healing process, which ultimately stabilize the lesion and provide protection from recurrent symptoms, follows plaque instability. If mechanisms regulating this process were unraveled, pharmacological approaches to promote plaque healing could be developed and thereby prevent consequences of atherosclerosis and plaque rupture. Current approaches include the identification of biomarkers for plaque instability utilizing the BiKE resource with advanced large scale transcriptomics and proteomics in collaboration with Matthias Uhlén and the HPR (Human Protein Resource) project. Animal models designed for validation of human data in rats and transgenic mice including side projects to develop targeted biomarkers for imaging together with Kenneth Caidahl, KI.