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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2016 Mar;36(3):429-38. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.115.306009. Epub 2016 Jan 28.

2015 Russell Ross Memorial Lecture in Vascular Biology: Protective Autoimmunity in Atherosclerosis.

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From the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and Department of Bioengineering, UCSD, La Jolla, CA.


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the arterial wall. It is accompanied by an autoimmune response against apolipoprotein B-100, the core protein of low-density lipoprotein, which manifests as CD4 T cell and antibody responses. To assess the role of the autoimmune response in atherosclerosis, the nature of the CD4 T cell response against apolipoprotein B-100 was studied with and without vaccination with major histocompatibility complex-II-restricted apolipoprotein B-100 peptides. The immunologic basis of autoimmunity in atherosclerosis is discussed in the framework of theories of adaptive immunity. Older vaccination approaches are also discussed. Vaccinating Apoe(-/-) mice with major histocompatibility complex-II-restricted apolipoprotein B-100 peptides reduces atheroma burden in the aorta by ≈40%. The protective mechanism likely includes secretion of interleukin-10. Protective autoimmunity limits atherosclerosis in mice and suggests potential for developing preventative and therapeutic vaccines for humans.


apolipoprotein B; atherosclerosis; immune system; immunology; lymphocyte

[Available on 2017-03-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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