Hypoxia in experimental atherosclerosis: linking cellular oxygen sensors and cholesterol metabolism

Elke Marsch

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Atherosclerosis is the cause of a stroke or heart attack. It has been demonstrated that atherosclerotic plaques have an oxygen deficiency, but no causal relationship has yet been demonstrated with the development of atherosclerosis. This PhD dissertation, which describes research in which mice breathed 95% oxygen, demonstrates that systematic oxygen therapy can improve atherosclerosis. However, the reduction of oxygen use by cells in the plaque showed no definitive effect on atherosclerosis. This suggests that the oxygen deficiency in the atherosclerotic plaques makes only a small contribution to the development of atherosclerosis. The research also found a new link between oxygen sensor proteins and cholesterol metabolism. Here, slowing down the oxygen sensor “PHD1” could lower cholesterol, leading to a reduction in the development of atherosclerosis.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Daemen, Mattias, Supervisor
  • Biessen, Erik, Supervisor
  • Sluimer, Judith, Co-Supervisor
Award date18 May 2016
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789462953642
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • atherosclerosis
  • oxygen therapy
  • hypoxia
  • oxygen sensor PHD1

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