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Jan Nilsson


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Promoting athero-protective immunity by vaccination with low density lipoprotein-derived antigens


  • Jan Nilsson
  • Prediman K. Shah

Summary, in English

Immune responses activated by LDL particles that have been trapped and oxidized in the arterial wall play an important role in atherosclerosis. Some of these immune responses are protective by facilitating the removal of pro-inflammatory and toxic lipid species formed as result of LDL oxidation. However, should these protective immune responses be insufficient, other more potent pro-inflammatory immune responses instead contributing to disease progression will gradually become dominant. The importance of the balance between protective and pathogenic immunity is particularly apparent when it comes to the adaptive immune system where pro-inflammatory T helper 1 (Th1) type T cells aggravate atherosclerosis, while regulatory T cells (Tregs) have an opposing role. As oxidized LDL is a key autoantigen in atherosclerosis, it has become an interesting possibility that immune-modulatory therapy that favors the activity of apolipoprotein B peptide-specific Tregs could be developed into a novel treatment strategy for prevention/stabilization of atherosclerosis and ischemic cardiovascular events. Indeed, several such oxidized LDL tolerance vaccines have shown promising results in animal models of atherosclerosis. This review will discuss the experimental background for development of atherosclerosis vaccines based on LDL-derived antigens as well as the challenges involved in translating these findings into clinical application.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year






Document type

Journal article review




  • Immunology in the medical area


  • Antibodies
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Low density lipoprotein
  • T cells
  • Vaccination



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis


  • ISSN: 0021-9150