Atherosclerosis (ATH) is a chronic, dynamic, evolutive process involving morphological and structural subversion of artery walls, leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. ATH generally initiates during the childhood, occurring as a result of a number of changes in the intima tunica and in the media of arteries. A key event occurring during the pathobiology of ATH is the accumulation of lipoproteins in the sub-intimal spaces mediated by extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, especially by the chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS) -containing proteoglycans (CS/DSPGs). Among them, the proteoglycan biglycan (BGN) is critically involved in the onset and progression of ATH and evidences show that BGN represents the missing link between the pro-atherogenic status induced by both traditional and non-traditional cardiovascular risk factors and the development and progression of vascular damage. In the light of these findings, the role of BGN in dyslipidemia, hypertension, cigarette smoking, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and inflammatory status is briefly analyzed and discussed in order to shed new light on the underlying mechanisms governing the association between BGN and ATH.
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