Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dendritic cell subtype protects against atherosclerosis

Date:
November 10, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as "hardening of the arteries," is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. The cause of atherosclerosis is not well understood but, for some time, chronic inflammatory immune responses have been implicated in driving disease pathology. Now, a new study identifies a type of immune cell that is not associated with promoting disease, but with protection against atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as "hardening of the arteries," is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. The cause of atherosclerosis is not well understood but, for some time, chronic inflammatory immune responses have been implicated in driving disease pathology. Now, a new study, published online on November 10th by Cell Press from the journal Immunity, identifies a type of immune cell that is not associated with promoting disease, but with protection against atherosclerosis.

The findings substantially advance the understanding of the complex immune responses associated with atherosclerosis and may guide research to develop new therapeutic interventions.

Atherosclerosis is a vascular disease characterized by the accumulation of fatty material, such as cholesterol, in the wall of an artery. In the early stages of the disease, white blood cells called macrophages ingest the fatty material and become a major constituent of the soft, flaky plaques that narrow the artery and reduce blood flow. Pieces of the plaque can also break away and lodge in the brain, causing a stroke. Although this role for macrophages is well established, there are still many unanswered questions about the involvement of other types of immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs).

In the paper, the authors explain that, "The precise definition of the development and function of the immune cells in normal and diseased blood vessels is increasingly important. Although macrophages in the large vessels have been the object of longstanding and considerable research, studies on aortic DCs are more recent and less numerous." Senior study author, Dr. Ralph M. Steinman from Rockefeller University, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine on October 3, 2011, but unfortunately died three days before receiving the news. "In our study we compared DCs and macrophages side by side in the mouse aorta, whereas prior work has focused on one cell type or the other" say the co-first authors Drs. Jae-Hoon Choi and Cheolho Cheong.

Using a mouse model of atherosclerosis, the researchers discovered that there were more DCs than macrophages in the aorta and that there were two distinct types of DCs, "classical" DCs and DCs that were derived from white blood cells called monocytes. Interestingly, mice engineered to have fewer classical DCs developed more severe atherosclerosis. This suggests that although most types of immune cells are thought to exacerbate atherosclerosis, classical DCs may have a protective function.

Steinman and colleagues wrote that, "These findings provide a more precise developmental and functional picture of the cell types in the aorta and support the view that the immune response in atherosclerosis is a double edged sword, with one subset of DCs providing a protective edge." "Further, understanding the roles of DCs and their origins in atherosclerosis is providing new insight for the treatment of atherosclerosis" adds co-author Dr. Goo Taeg Oh from Ewha Women's University in Korea.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Dendritic cell subtype protects against atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111110125721.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, November 10). Dendritic cell subtype protects against atherosclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111110125721.htm
Cell Press. "Dendritic cell subtype protects against atherosclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111110125721.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins