Macrophage scavenger receptors, such as CD36 and class A scavenger receptor (SR-A), have previously been thought to play a central role in foam cell formation and atherogenesis by mediating the uptake of oxidized LDL. In this issue of the JCI, Moore et al. report that Apoe–/– mice deficient in either CD36 or SR-A did not have less atherosclerosis at the level of the aortic valve than did wild-type Apoe–/– mice. In contrast, similar studies by previous investigators found that deletion of these receptors decreased atherogenesis. The reasons for the different results are not known, but these data suggest that the role of these receptors in atherogenesis remains unresolved.
Joseph L. Witztum