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Jan Nilsson

Professor

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Vaccination Strategies and Immune Modulation of Atherosclerosis

Author

  • Jan Nilsson
  • Göran K. Hansson

Summary, in English

Adaptive as well as innate immune responses contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Studies performed in experimental animals have revealed that some of these immune responses are protective while others contribute to the progression of disease. These observations suggest that it may be possible to develop novel therapies for cardiovascular disease by selectively modulating such atheroprotective and proatherogenic immunity. Recent advances in cancer treatment using immune check inhibitors and CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell therapy serve as excellent examples of the possibilities of targeting the immune system to combat disease. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) that has accumulated in the artery wall is a key autoantigen in atherosclerosis, and activation of antigen-specific T helper 1-type T cells is thought to fuel plaque inflammation. Studies aiming to prove this concept by immunizing experimental animals with oxidized LDL particles unexpectedly resulted in activation of atheroprotective immunity involving regulatory T cells. This prompted several research groups to try to develop vaccines against atherosclerosis. In this review, we will discuss the experimental and clinical data supporting the possibility of developing immune-based therapies for lowering cardiovascular risk. We will also summarize ongoing clinical studies and discuss the challenges associated with developing an effective and safe atherosclerosis vaccine.

Department/s

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

Publishing year

2020-04-24

Language

English

Pages

1281-1296

Publication/Series

Circulation Research

Volume

126

Issue

9

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

American Heart Association

Topic

  • Immunology in the medical area

Keywords

  • antibodies
  • atherosclerosis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • inflammation
  • vaccine

Status

Published

Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0009-7330