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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 851945, 11 pages
Review Article

Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Calcific Aortic Valve Disease

1Laboratoire d’Études Moléculaires des Valvulopathies (LEMV), Groupe de Recherche en Valvulopathies (GRV), Quebec Heart and Lung Institute/Research Center, Department of Surgery, Laval University, QC, Canada
2Institut de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec, 2725 Chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 4G5

Received 14 August 2014; Accepted 16 September 2014

Academic Editor: Giacomina Brunetti

Copyright © 2015 Patrick Mathieu et al. 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.


Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the most common heart valve disorder. CAVD is a chronic process characterized by a pathologic mineralization of valve leaflets. Ectopic mineralization of the aortic valve involves complex relationships with immunity. Studies have highlighted that both innate and adaptive immunity play a role in the development of CAVD. In this regard, accumulating evidence indicates that fibrocalcific remodelling of the aortic valve is associated with activation of the NF-κB pathway. The expression of TNF-α and IL-6 is increased in human mineralized aortic valves and promotes an osteogenic program as well as the mineralization of valve interstitial cells (VICs), the main cellular component of the aortic valve. Different factors, including oxidized lipid species, activate the innate immune response through the Toll-like receptors. Moreover, VICs express 5-lipoxygenase and therefore produce leukotrienes, which may amplify the inflammatory response in the aortic valve. More recently, studies have emphasized that an adaptive immune response is triggered during CAVD. Herein, we are reviewing the link between the immune response and the development of CAVD and we have tried, whenever possible, to keep a translational approach.