The vaccine could also target strokes which are a product of plaque buildup in arteries," said Harley Tse, a professor of immunology and microbiology in Wayne State University's school of medicine.
Shaw and Tse
demonstrated that two T cell epitopes of the autoantigen "apoB100" are deeply involved in the development of the disease.
of the immune system are known to participate in the development of heart disease, by what and how these T-cells
are directed to act has not been elucidated.
"With the discovery of the disease-causing T-cell epitopes, we can now manipulate the activities of the T-cells responding to these epitopes to control the disease," Shaw said.
Shaw and Tse
conceptualised that finding the "apoB100" epitopes capable of stimulating the disease causing (atherogenic) T-cells
is a prerequisite to understand how these T-cells
are involved in heart disease development and how to control their adverse effects.
They identified two short sequences of "apoB100" that were able to direct specific T-cells to proliferate as well as to cause worsening atherosclerosis.
"This discovery is significant because it identifies the target T-cells and makes it possible to manipulate this population of pathologic T-cells away from their harmful activities," Shaw and Tse