- To identify the causes of the inflammatory outburst observed in unstable angina
- To investigate the influence of inflammation on platelet activation
- To investigate the influence of inflammation on the thrombotic and fibrinolytic activitity
lt is well established that intracoronary thrombosis, which may be associated with plaque fissure and enhanced coronary vasoconstriction, is the immediate cause of a sudden impairment of regional myocardial perfusion, which is transient in unstable angina and is, eventually, irreversible in acute myocardial infarction. Nevertheless, the primary causes of intracoronary thrombosis are still largely speculative. An inflammatory outburst recently observed in acute coronary syndromes may have the potential to turn the anticoagulant and vasodilator physiological properties of the endothelium into procoagulant and vasoconstrictor properties and to cause plaque fissure by the release of proteolytic enzymes. We take advantage of the participants' expertise in molecular biology, clinical pharmacology and immunology in oder to establish the causes of the inflammatory outburst and the influence of inflammatory cytokines on platelet reactivity and on the thrombotic and fibrinolytic activity in he coronary circulation. The achievement of these goals will allow to rapidly evolve from the understanding of the causes of acute coronary syndromes to the discovery of new and specific diagnostic approaches and forms of treatment and prevention.