Predictive and protective autoimmunity in cardiovascular diseases: Is vaccination therapy a reality?

E. Toubi, Y. Shoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The role of the immune system in modulating atherosclerosis has recently been well documented. Studies have revealed that cellular and humoral immunity plays crucial roles in atherogenic plaque formation. This includes macrophages, CD4+ T cells and dendritic cells as well as autoantigens such as oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL), heat shock proteins and β2-glycoprotein I. Given these recent advances, various modifications of the immune system in experimental models have been proposed as therapeutic strategies, with the potential of inhibiting atherosclerosis progression. These modifications are switching the immune system (CD4+ T cells) from Th1 towards a Th2 anti-inflammatory cytokine secretion, and the induction of protective antibodies both of which may be induced by specific vaccination. Recent identification of specific immunoreactive antigenic epitopes on modified LDL, their successful implementation for immunization and the induction of atheroprotection, supports the idea that active vaccination may emerge as a novel immuno-modulating atheroprotective strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-669
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2005


  • Anti-oxLDL
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Protective autoimmunity
  • Vaccination


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