College of Natural Resources & Sciences
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease causing plaque formation in arteries, leading to morbidity and mortality. Smooth muscle cells may contribute to plaque formation, but the exact origin remains unknown. Researchers can analyze smooth muscle cell function using histology, spatial transcriptomic analysis, and CODEX protein visualization. Using lineage tracing models with Rainbow mouse reporter lines, they can study cell fate and phenotypic shifts, identifying possible targets for disease tracking and modification to improve disease progression.