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Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;134(1):25-32. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2009.05.006. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Dendritic cells in atherosclerotic disease.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine II, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria. alexander.niessner@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

Atherosclerosis has been considered a syndrome of dysregulated lipid storage until recent evidence has emphasized the critical contribution of the immune system. Dendritic cells (DC) are positioned at the interface of the innate and adaptive immune system. Recognition of danger signals in atheromas leads to DC activation. Activated DC regulate effector T cells which can kill plaque-resident cells and damage the plaque structure. Two types of DC have been identified in atherosclerotic lesions; classical myeloid DC (mDC) which mainly recognize bacterial signatures and plasmacytoid DC (pDC) which specialize in sensing viral fragments and have the unique potential of producing large amounts of type I interferon (IFN). In human atheromas, type I IFN upregulates expression of the cytotoxic molecule TRAIL which leads to apoptosis of plaque-resident cells. This review will elucidate the role of DC in atherogenesis and particularly in plaque rupture, the underlying pathophysiologic cause of myocardial infarction.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
19520615
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2821659
Free PMC Article
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