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Lupus. 2009 Nov;18(13):1209-12. doi: 10.1177/0961203309345725.

Vaccination, atherosclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Rheumatology Division, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo e Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, leading to the formation of pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative lipids that generate an immune response. Several antigens have been shown to activate the immune response and affect the development of atherogenesis. Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease strongly associated with premature development of atherosclerotic plaques. Modulation of the immune system could represent a useful approach to prevent and/or treat atherosclerosis. A vaccination-based approach might be a useful, effective tool in the modern arsenal of cardiovascular therapies and could be used on a large scale at a low cost. In non-systemic lupus erythematosus populations, vaccines against oxidized low-density lipoprotein, beta-2-glycoprotein I, heat shock proteins, lipoproteins, cholesterol, molecules involved in cholesterol metabolism, and other molecules (CD99, vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor, and interleukin-2) have been tested, with promising results. However, there are no studies of vaccination against atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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