Observational studies of advanced atherosclerotic lesions have shown that apoptotic macrophages accumulate in focal areas surrounding the developing necrotic core. The fact that necrotic cores contain predominantly macrophage debris has given rise to the concept that plaque necrosis develops as a direct consequence of postapoptotic macrophage necrosis that depends to a large extent on the efficiency of apoptotic cell clearance by phagocytes, a process known as efferocytosis. In this study we investigated the relationships between lysophosphatidylcholine (LysoPC), apoptosis and efferocytosis in human carotid endoarteriectomy specimens.
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