The impact of heparin compounds on cellular inflammatory responses: a construct for future investigation and pharmaceutical development.
Atherosclerotic disease is recognized as a chronic inflammatory disorder with intermittent and widely variable phases of cellular proliferation and heightened thrombotic activity. The multi-tiered links between inflammation, atherogenesis and thrombogenesis provide a unique opportunity for research and development of pharmaceuticals which target one or more critical pathobiologic steps (Fig. 1). The purpose of the following review on heparin compounds is to comprehensively examine the multi-cellular, pleuripotential effects of a commonly used anticoagulant drug in the context of normal and disease-altered vascular responses and illustrate possible constructs for avenues of subsequent investigation in the field of atherothrombosis. The overview is divided into five integrated parts; antiinflammatory properties of the normal vessel wall, the relationship between glycosaminoglycans and inflammation, heparin-mediated effects on cellular inflammatory responses, association between molecular weight and antiinflammatory capabilities, and oral heparin compounds for achieving prolonged cell-based inhibition.
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