Targeting B Cells in Atherosclerosis
Closing the Gap From Bench to Bedside
Atherosclerotic plaque formation is strongly influenced by different arms of the immune system, including B lymphocytes. B cells are divided into 2 main families: the B1 and the B2 cells. B1 cells are atheroprotective mainly via the production of natural IgM antibodies that bind oxidized low-density lipoprotein and apoptotic cells. B2 cells, which include follicular and marginal zone B cells, are suggested to be proatherogenic. Antibody-mediated depletion of B cells has become a valuable treatment option for certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis that are also characterized by the development of premature atherosclerosis. Thus, B cells represent a novel interesting target for therapeutic modulation of the atherosclerotic disease process. Here, we discuss the effect of different of B-cell subsets in experimental atherosclerosis, their mechanism of action as well as potential ways to exploit these findings for the treatment of human disease.
- B lymphocytes
- B-cell activating factor
- cardiovascular diseases
- Received August 30, 2014.
- Accepted October 20, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.