Adaptive (T and B Cells) Immunity and Control by Dendritic Cells in Atherosclerosis

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Chronic inflammation in response to lipoprotein accumulation in the arterial wall is central in the development of atherosclerosis. Both innate and adaptive immunity are involved in this process. Adaptive immune responses develop against an array of potential antigens presented to effector T lymphocytes by antigen-presenting cells, especially dendritic cells. Functional analysis of the role of different T-cell subsets identified the Th1 responses as proatherogenic, whereas regulatory T-cell responses exert antiatherogenic activities. The effect of Th2 and Th17 responses is still debated. Atherosclerosis is also associated with B-cell activation. Recent evidence established that conventional B-2 cells promote atherosclerosis. In contrast, innate B-1 B cells offer protection through secretion of natural IgM antibodies. This review discusses the recent development in our understanding of the role of T- and B-cell subsets in atherosclerosis and addresses the role of dendritic cell subpopulations in the control of adaptive immunity.

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