B Cell Subsets in Atherosclerosis

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Perry, Heather M. ; Bender, Timothy P. ; McNamara, Coleen A. (2012)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Journal: Frontiers in Immunology, volume 3 (issn: 1664-3224, eissn: 1664-3224)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC3518786, doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2012.00373
  • Subject: atherosclerosis | lipids | Review Article | cytokines | B cell | Immunology | IgM

Atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the artery wall. Immune cells, including lymphocytes modulate atherosclerotic lesion development through interconnected mechanisms. Elegant studies over the past decades have begun to unravel a role for B cells in atherosclerosis. Recent findings provide evidence that B cell effects on atherosclerosis may be subset-dependent. B-1a B cells have been reported to protect from atherosclerosis by secretion of natural IgM antibodies. Conventional B-2 B cells can promote atherosclerosis through less clearly defined mechanism that may involve CD4 T cells. Yet, there may be other populations of B cells within these subsets with different phenotypes altering their impact on atherosclerosis. Additionally, the role of B cell subsets in atherosclerosis may depend on their environmental niche and/or the stage of atherogenesis. This review will highlight key findings in the evolving field of B cells and atherosclerosis and touch on the potential and importance of translating these findings to human disease.
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