Dendritic Cells in Atherosclerosis
Evidence in Mice and Humans
Atherosclerotic vascular disease is driven by chronic inflammation involving both innate and adaptive immune responses. Dendritic cells (DCs) are found in healthy arteries and accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions and engage in diverse pathogenic and protective mechanisms during atherogenesis. DCs contribute to early foam cell formation, regulate lipid metabolism, and control pro- and antiatherosclerotic T-cell responses by multifarious mechanisms. We, here, review many roles of DCs and plasmacytoid DCs in experimental models of atherosclerosis and the approaches to target DCs in therapeutic vaccination strategies. We, furthermore, discuss the evidence of the potential function of DCs in human atherosclerosis, and dissect the efforts to harness DC subsets as biomarkers of disease. Finally, we discuss necessary future steps that will help to understand the specific contribution of bona fide DCs in atherosclerosis to move toward novel therapeutic approaches.
- Received October 15, 2014.
- Accepted February 2, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.