The chronic inflammation process that characterises atherosclerosis involves both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. Several lines of evidence have recently highlighted pivotal roles for T and B lymphocytes – cells that belong to the adaptive immune system – in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge on the roles of adaptive immune responses in atherosclerosis and present our views on how a better understanding of these immune mechanisms could shape future therapies to slow down or even prevent this disease.
Keywords: Adaptive immune response, T cells, B cells, atherosclerosis, metallo-proteinases (MMPs), acute coronary syndrome (ACS), macrophages, monoclonal antibody, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus
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