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ISRN Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 785094, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/785094
Review Article

New Alternatives for Atherosclerosis Treatment Based on Immunomodulation

Center for Research and Biological Evaluations, Institute of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Havana, 13600 Havana, Cuba

Received 12 July 2012; Accepted 13 August 2012

Academic Editors: A. Mugge and A. Paolicchi

Copyright © 2012 Livan Delgado Roche and Danay Alfonso Hernández. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Atherosclerosis and its derived cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death in the western world. The treatment of atherosclerosis is currently based on lipid lowering in combination with anti-inflammatory therapies that slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Still, these therapies are not able to fully inhibit the formation or progression of atherosclerotic lesions. Ever since it was first demonstrated that the immunological system plays an important role during atherogenesis, various different immunotherapeutic approaches have been evaluated with promising results. Notwithstanding that, one of the difficulties in developing effective vaccination strategies for atherosclerosis is the selection of a specific target. So far, vaccination strategies have been based on the targeting of lipid antigens, inflammation-derived antigens, and cell-based vaccination strategies. More recently, strategies aimed at blocking the retention of low-density lipoproteins by arterial proteoglycans have emerged as a promising tool. In the study at hand we reviewed the most relevant advances on atherosclerosis immunotherapy cited in the PubMed database from 1980 to 2012.