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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 437809, 7 pages
Review Article

Atherogenic Factors and Their Epigenetic Relationships

1Hemostasia and Vascular Genetics Laboratory, Biophysics and Biochemistry Center, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research IVIC, Carretera Panamericana km11, P.O. 26973, Caracas 1020, Venezuela
2Epigenetics in Human Health and Disease Laboratory, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia

Received 23 June 2010; Accepted 25 August 2010

Academic Editor: Aaron S. Dumont

Copyright © 2010 Ana Z. Fernandez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hypercholesterolemia, homocysteine, oxidative stress, and hyperglycemia have been recognized as the major risk factors for atherogenesis. Their impact on the physiology and biochemistry of vascular cells has been widely demonstrated for the last century. However, the recent discovery of the role of epigenetics in human disease has opened up a new field in the study of atherogenic factors. Thus, epigenetic tags in endothelial, smooth muscle, and immune cells seem to be differentially affected by similar atherogenic stimuli. This paper summarizes some recent works on expression of histone-modifying enzymes and DNA methylation directly linked to the presence of risk factors that could lead to the development or prevention of the atherosclerotic process.