Role of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms in cardiac injury and repair

Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Feb;15(2):117-29. doi: 10.1038/nri3800.


Despite the advances that have been made in developing new therapeutics, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of worldwide mortality. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular tissue injury and repair is of prime importance. Following cardiac tissue injury, the immune system has an important and complex role in driving both the acute inflammatory response and the regenerative response. This Review summarizes the role of the immune system in cardiovascular disease - focusing on the idea that the immune system evolved to promote tissue homeostasis following injury and/or infection, and that the inherent cost of this evolutionary development is unwanted inflammatory damage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Animals
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart Diseases / immunology*
  • Heart Diseases / metabolism
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Myocarditis / immunology
  • Myocarditis / metabolism
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Neutrophil Infiltration / immunology
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Wound Healing / immunology*