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Comprehensive insight into immune regulatory mechanisms and vascular wall determinants of atherogenesis – emerging perspectives of immunomodulation
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Submission date: 2012-03-22
Final revision date: 2012-10-02
Acceptance date: 2012-10-02
Online publication date: 2013-02-21
Publication date: 2013-02-28
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(1):159–165
For many years atherosclerosis was believed to be the passive accumulation of cholesterol in vessel walls. Today the picture is more complex, as immune processes occur in atherogenesis. Considerable attention is focused on the particular role of adaptive immune responses orchestrated by T cell subsets. Since the role of Th1/Th2 balance and Th1 cell domination in atherogenesis is already known, the involvement of regulatory T lymphocytes and recently described Th17 cells raises new concerns. On one hand, each of these cells may specifically drive responses of vascular wall tissues and immune cells; however, they are subject to the control of a plethora of tissue- and pathogen-derived agents. Due to ineffective tissue regeneration, remodeling of the vascular wall occurs. The understanding of the immune regulatory network gives perspectives of innovative immunomodulatory therapies of atherosclerosis and the prevention of its complications, such as coronary artery disease.