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Cardiol Rev. 2008 Nov-Dec;16(6):288-300. doi: 10.1097/CRD.0b013e3181885933.

Vaccines in development to prevent and treat atherosclerotic disease.

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Departments of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.


Coronary heart disease (CHD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Immune mechanisms have been recently proposed to play an important role in the development of atherosclerotic plaques in CHD. Heat shock proteins and oxidized low-density lipoprotein are proinflammatory substances that have been shown to have an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, and are now targets for clinical vaccine development. In addition, a vaccine has been developed to inhibit cholesteryl ester transfer protein. It is now recognized that many medications used to combat plaque development and rupture have significant anti-inflammatory effects and these effects are critical for drug efficacy. The influenza vaccine is associated with an atheroprotective effect. In addition, a nicotine vaccine, an antiangiotensin vaccine, and an anti-obesity vaccine may play a therapeutic role in modifying known risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis and its complications. This article reviews these vaccines as possible additions to the armamentarium of atheroprotective treatment modalities.

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