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Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 12 November 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 45, p. re8
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2003.45.re8]


On the Memory of a Chronic Illness

Pascal J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, and Eric D. Peterson

Pascal J. Goldschmidt-Clermont is chair of the Department of Medicine and Eric D. Peterson is in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. E-mail: golds017{at} (P.J.G.-C.);2003/45/re8

Key Words: progenitor cell • atherosclerosis • vascular repair • hypercholesterolemia • apolipoprotein E

Abstract: The elderly are particularly susceptible to disease, yet the biological mechanisms that bring about this susceptibility remain unclear. Using atherosclerosis as a model chronic illness, we review how recent studies of bone marrow-derived vascular repair systems in mice and humans provide new insights into the causes and potential cures for age-related illness. Organisms are born with a finite capacity for stem cell-mediated repair after chronic exposure to tissue injury. Once that capacity is exhausted, a cycle of pathological inflammation ensues and leads to overt disease manifestations. Augmentation of stem cell-mediated repair systems may provide a novel means of treating or preventing many age-related illnesses.

Citation: P. J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, E. D. Peterson, On the Memory of a Chronic Illness. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2003 (45), re8 (2003).

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