Diabetes-related factors and atherosclerosis regression

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD), such as heart attacks, and are more resistant to treatment. The reason could be metabolic features of diabetes. Two of those were studied : 1. High triglycerides and low good cholesterol (=HDL), and 2. The increase in a specific immune cell population (neutrophils) induced by elevated blood sugar levels. The aim of this thesis was to identify if these diabetes-related factors impair the reduction and repair of lesions (the sites were cholesterol accumulates) in the arteries, a process named atherosclerosis regression. The results show that high triglyceride levels and low HDL does not impair atherosclerosis regression, while the elevated neutrophil levels do. The latter is due to so-called neutrophil extracellular trap formation inducing inflammation in the arteries.
This thesis includes studies in mice and humans and describes possible mechanisms behind our findings.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Schalkwijk, Casper, Supervisor
  • Fisher, Edward A., Supervisor, External person
  • Wouters, Kristiaan, Co-Supervisor
Award date3 Sep 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464024838
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • diabetes
  • atherosclerosis
  • triglycerides
  • LPL
  • HDL
  • NETs

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