Aparicio-Vergara M, Shiri-Sverdlov R, de Haan G, Hofker MH
Atherosclerosis 2010 Dec;213(2):335-44
Hematopoietic cells have been established as major players in cardiovascular disease, with an important role in the etiology of atherosclerotic plaque. In addition, hematopoietic cells, and in particular the cells of monocyte and macrophage lineages, have recently been unmasked as one of the main causes of metabolic abnormalities leading to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. With the availability of transgenic mouse models that reproduce many aspects of these diseases, research in these areas has been able to make exceptional progress. Much of the work exploring the role of hematopoietic cells has been carried out on chimeric mice made by the recipient disease model mice being given donor bone marrow cells from transgenic mice harboring a genetic alteration in a relevant pathway. Here, we will describe the potential of the bone marrow transplantation approach and discuss recent developments, including the use of virally transduced cells. We will explain some of the caveats, their effect on the experimental outcomes, and some possible solutions. Taken as a whole, this technology offers great advantages in efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and it is expected to continue to be a crucial technique in cardiovascular research work.