The effect of intra- and extracellular challenges on cellular responses in atherosclerosis

Kim van Kuijk

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

339 Downloads (Pure)


The main topic of this thesis is the effect of stressors, in or outside of the cell, on atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, multiple cell types are important: inflammatory cells that clean up the growing pool of lipids and matrix-producing cells that produce matrix. The latter is essential in preventing the formation of blood clots and thus decreasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This dissertation research investigated numerous stressors, such as oxygen and cholesterol levels, and what the effect of those is on earlier mentioned cells. This thesis found that autophagy, as a response to lipids, works protective in atherosclerosis. While it also shows that vast amounts of lipids lead to cell death in inflammatory cells, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Low oxygen levels can also manifest this in inflammatory cells, which in turn can lead to matrix production by matrix-producing cells. This thesis shows that a variety of stressors can have divergent effects on atherosclerosis, in a cell-specific manner.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Sluimer, Judith, Supervisor
  • Biessen, Erik, Supervisor
  • Baker, Andrew Howard, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date4 Jun 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464164770
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • atherosclerosis
  • environmental challenges
  • immune responses
  • matrix production
  • cellular adaptation

Cite this