Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease leading to cardiovascular diseases responsible
for a high level of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Increasing evidence tends to hold that humoral
and cellular immune responses are a key component of human atherosclerosis development.
Since the last decade, auto-antibodies have been identified as active mediators of cardiovascular disease,
some presenting protective effects whereas others act as proatherogenic factors. This review presents
an overview of the most relevant auto-antibodies with regards to their respective cardiovascular
prognostic value in acute coronary syndrome, stroke and other cardiomyopathies, and their potential pathophysiologic
implication in atherogenesis. Insights in the mechanisms of action of auto-antibodies show that they commonly modulate
the innate immune system towards a pro- or anti-inflammatory response and/or affect the regulation of basal heart rate.
The increased understanding of the auto-antibodies functional properties has led to the development of new therapeutic
approaches targeting the innate immune system or the epitope-binding site. Some of these auto-antibodies have been reported
to be independent prognostic factors of poor disease outcome. In addition to conventional risk factors, these autoantibodies
could be helpful biomarkers to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the cardiovascular stratification tools.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, auto-antibodies, auto-immune disease, cardiomyopathies, cardiovascular disease.
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