Evidence from experimental and genetic studies suggest the existence of a potential link between the leukotrienes (LT) signalling cascade, and the pathogenesis/progression of atherosclerosis and its serious consequences such as acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, aortic aneurysms, and intimal hyperplasia. LT biosynthetic enzymes are expressed within atherosclerotic lesion, leading to production of cysteinyl-leukotrienes (Cys- LTs) and LTB4 that exert potent pro-inflammatory action through interaction with CysLT and BLT receptor subtypes expressed on inflammatory and structural cells within the vascular wall. Genetic variants in the genes of the 5-LO pathway have been associated with the risk of developing AMI and stroke. As a result, anti-LT have recently received renewed interest for the treatment of atherosclerosis and its ischemic complications. The aim of this short review is to summarize our current understanding of the role of LTs and their receptors in the genesis and progression of atherosclerosis and review the recent developments on the use of antagonists.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, antileukotrienes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, myocardial infarction