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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 5946807, 13 pages
Review Article

Dendritic Cells and Their Role in Cardiovascular Diseases: A View on Human Studies

1Department of Cardiac Surgery, Heart Center, Helios Clinic, University Hospital Leipzig, 04289 Leipzig, Germany
2Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Heart Center Hamburg, 20246 Hamburg, Germany

Received 23 November 2015; Revised 22 January 2016; Accepted 22 February 2016

Academic Editor: Silvia B. Boscardin

Copyright © 2016 Maja-Theresa Dieterlen 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.


The antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) are key to the immunological response, with different functions ascribed ranging from cellular immune activation to induction of tolerance. Such immunological responses are involved in the pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases, with DCs shown to play a role in atherosclerosis, hypertension, and heart failure and most notably following heart transplantation. A better understanding of the interplay between the immune system and cardiovascular diseases will therefore be critical for developing novel therapeutic treatments as well as innovative monitoring tools for disease progression. As such, the present review will provide an overview of DCs involvement in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases and how targeting these cells may have beneficial effects for the prognosis of patients.