Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria INCLIVA, Valencia, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Madrid, Spain; Departamento de Didáctica de las Ciencias Sociales y Experimentales, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the clinical manifestation of atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease promoted by several risk factors such as dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and smoking. Acute CVD events are the result of an unresolved inflammatory chronic state that promotes the rupture of unstable plaque lesions. Of note, the existing intensive therapies modify risk factors but do not prevent life-threatening recurrent ischemic events in high-risk patients, who have a residual inflammatory risk displayed by increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Better understanding of the role of innate and adaptive immunity in plaque development and rupture has led to intensive investigation of anti-inflammatory strategies for CVD. Some of them are being tested in specific clinical trials and use lower doses of existing medications originally developed for other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, which have high CVD risk. Other investigations are retrospective and meta-analyses of existing clinical trials that evaluate the incidence of CVD in these inflammatory diseases. Others are based on preclinical testing such as vaccines. In this article, we summarize the main anti-inflammatory strategies and associated molecular mechanisms that are being evaluated in preclinical or clinical CVD studies.