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Curr Drug Targets. 2007 Dec;8(12):1297-306.

The immune system and murine atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, The University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


In this review the modulation of lipoprotein metabolism and atherogenesis by the innate and adaptive immune systems of the mouse is discussed. While recognizing the participation of all components of the immune system in atherogenesis, it is clear that robust atherogenesis may proceed without an adaptive immune response. But even when all components are active, the outcome reflects a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory reactants and cells. This network of interactions is summarized in this review and is complemented by other reviews in this series. Also noted is the differential response of different vascular beds following manipulation of the components of the adaptive immune system. Further work is required to achieve a fuller understanding of the role of these systems in atherogenesis, especially with the prospect of favorably modulating atherogenesis by the manipulation of the participating immune components as for example in a vaccination approach.

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