CRP (C-reactive protein) has not only emerged as a useful biomarker for cardiovascular disease, but also as a mediator of atherosclerosis. CRP directly activates vascular endothelial cells, amplifying the inflammatory response underlying atherogenesis. The expression of IL (interleukin)-8 appears to serve as one of the downstream effects of CRP. Kibayashi and co-workers in this issue of Clinical Science confirm that CRP induces IL-8 production in human aortic endothelial cells in vitro, via the activation of MAPKs (mitogen-activated protein kinases), an effect that can be inhibited by pitavastatin.

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