Unravelling immune cell complexity in atherosclerosis

Clément, M., Mallat, Z.

Atherosclerosis is a metabolic and chronic inflammatory disease affecting arteries and strongly associated with cardiovascular events (e.g. myocardial infarction and stroke). Lipid deposition in the sub-endothelial space triggers pro-inflammatory signalling which stimulates the recruitment of innate and adaptive immune cells and activates a healing response from vascular cells. However, defects in inflammation resolution sustain vessel activation and promote atherosclerotic plaque progression and destabilization. Since the first immunohistochemical description of immune cells in the artery wall in the early 1980s, analysis of immune cell subsets infiltrating the atherosclerotic lesion kept improving steadily with the refinement of existing methodology and the advent of new technology. While immunohistochemistry provided essential information on immune cells invading atherosclerotic lesions, flow cytometry improved by far the identification of specific phenotypes and scarce immune cell subsets.


Clément, M., Mallat, Z. "Unravelling immune cell complexity in atherosclerosis" Nature Protocols (2018): 1,306-7