The influence of innate and adaptive immune responses on atherosclerosis

Annu Rev Pathol. 2014;9:73-102. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pathol-020712-163936. Epub 2013 Aug 7.


Both the chronic development of atherosclerotic lesions and the acute changes in lesion phenotype that lead to clinical cardiovascular events are significantly influenced by the innate and adaptive immune responses to lipoprotein deposition and oxidation in the arterial wall. The rapid pace of discovery of mechanisms of immunologic recognition, effector functions, and regulation has significantly influenced the study of atherosclerosis, and our new knowledge is beginning to affect how we treat this ubiquitous disease. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how innate and adaptive immunity contribute to atherosclerosis, as well as therapeutic opportunities that arise from this knowledge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Arteries / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology*
  • Atherosclerosis / therapy*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral / immunology
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Inflammasomes / immunology
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Receptors, Scavenger / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology


  • Inflammasomes
  • Lipoproteins
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Toll-Like Receptors