14. Adaptive Immunity in Atherosclerosis

  1. Gary S. Hoffman MD, MS2,
  2. Cornelia M. Weyand MD, PhD3,
  3. Carol A. Langford MD, MHS2 and
  4. Jörg J. Goronzy MD, PhD3
  1. Jan Nilsson MD

Published Online: 3 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118355244.ch14

Inflammatory Diseases of Blood Vessels, Second Edition

Inflammatory Diseases of Blood Vessels, Second Edition

How to Cite

Nilsson, J. (2012) Adaptive Immunity in Atherosclerosis, in Inflammatory Diseases of Blood Vessels, Second Edition (eds G. S. Hoffman, C. M. Weyand, C. A. Langford and J. J. Goronzy), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118355244.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases, Center for Vasculitis Care and Research, Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. Experimental Cardiovascular Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 8 JUN 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444338225

Online ISBN: 9781118355244



  • Atherosclerosis;
  • autoimmunity;
  • oxidized LDL;
  • Th1 cells;
  • regulatory T cells;
  • vaccine


Arterial inflammation is a key factor in the growth and destabilization of atherosclerotic lesions. Accumulating evidence has shown that this inflammation is fuelled by autoimmune responses against modified self-antigens such as oxidized low density lipoprotein. However, it has also become clear that the role of adaptive immunity in atherosclerosis is complex and that both pathogenic and protective immunity exist. Activation of Th1 cells promotes plaque growth and inflammation while regulatory T cells inhibit these processes. The observations suggest that it may be possible to develop novel immunomodulatory therapies targeting the Th1/Treg balance in atherosclerotic lesions.