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Crossroads between peripheral atherosclerosis, western-type diet and skeletal muscle pathophysiology: emphasis on apolipoprotein E deficiency and peripheral arterial disease

Sfyri, Peggy; Matsakas, Antonios


Peggy Sfyri

Antonios Matsakas


Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory process that, in the presence of hyperlipidaemia, promotes the formation of atheromatous plaques in large vessels of the cardiovascular system. It also affects peripheral arteries with major implications for a number of other non-vascular tissues such as the skeletal muscle, the liver and the kidney. The aim of this review is to critically discuss and assimilate current knowledge on the impact of peripheral atherosclerosis and its implications on skeletal muscle homeostasis. Accumulating data suggests that manifestations of peripheral atherosclerosis in skeletal muscle originates in a combination of increased i)-oxidative stress, ii)-inflammation, iii)-mitochondrial deficits, iv)-altered myofibre morphology and fibrosis, v)-chronic ischemia followed by impaired oxygen supply, vi)-reduced capillary density, vii)- proteolysis and viii)-apoptosis. These structural, biochemical and pathophysiological alterations impact on skeletal muscle metabolic and physiologic homeostasis and its capacity to generate force, which further affects the individual’s quality of life. Particular emphasis is given on two major areas representing basic and applied science respectively: a)-the abundant evidence from a well-recognised atherogenic model; the Apolipoprotein E deficient mouse and the role of a western-type diet and b)-on skeletal myopathy and oxidative stress-induced myofibre damage from human studies on peripheral arterial disease. A significant source of reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress in cardiovascular disease is the family of NADPH oxidases that contribute to several pathologies. Finally, strategies targeting NADPH oxidases in skeletal muscle in an attempt to attenuate cellular oxidative stress are highlighted, providing a better understanding of the crossroads between peripheral atherosclerosis and skeletal muscle pathophysiology.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017-12
Journal Journal of biomedical science
Print ISSN 1021-7770
Electronic ISSN 1423-0127
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 1
Article Number ARTN 42
APA6 Citation Sfyri, P., & Matsakas, A. (2017). Crossroads between peripheral atherosclerosis, western-type diet and skeletal muscle pathophysiology: emphasis on apolipoprotein E deficiency and peripheral arterial disease. Journal of Biomedical Science, 24(1),
Keywords Apolipoprotein E; Atherosclerosis; NADPH oxidases; Oxidative stress; Peripheral arterial disease; Skeletal muscle
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a copy of an open access article published in Journal of biomedical science, 2017, v.24 issue 42.


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© The Author(s). 2017 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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