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Cardiovascular Incidents Rise With Immunosuppressive Therapy

Wednesday October 9, 2019

Abcentra is leveraging its cutting-edge science, technology and expertise to contribute to studies on inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Most recently, Abcentra executives contributed to a 2019 study published in the American Heart Association Journals, which found that — in ApoE/MHCII double knockout mice with high-cholesterol and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) deficiency —atherosclerosis was increased compared to those mice which were only ApoE deficient, indicating that when key immune cell participation is lost, there may be an increased cardiovascular risk. This is critical as it demonstrates the important interplay of the immune system in atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is inflammation of the vessel associated with a build-up of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) in the artery. It often goes undiscovered until a serious event occurs, such as a heart attack or stroke. These events are life-threatening for patients and often lead to a diminished quality of life or even death.

To regulate the inflammation, the human body has an immune response determined by how the antigens within the plaque are presented to T cells. This antigen can either accelerate or slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. The immune system plays a key role, both in the pathogenesis as well as the protection against atherosclerosis, where balance tipped in the direction against MHCII presentation of antigen and/or loss of Treg cells increases atherosclerosis, which could lead to increased cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in the US.

The study, Lack of Ability to Present Antigens on Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Molecules Aggravates Atherosclerosis in ApoE−/− Mice, was conducted by renowned researchers, including Jan Nilsson, MD, PhD., presently head of the Scientific Advisory Board at Abcentra.

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Abcentra’s contribution to this study is just the latest in its efforts to address unmet needs in debilitating diseases with underlying inflammation, such as plaque psoriasis and accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with rheumatoid disease.

Abcentra aims to bring new, safer and more effective treatment options to patients with inflammatory diseases.