Regulating Inflammation in the Heart

Delisa Fairweather, Delisa Fairweather
2007 unpublished
cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United states and estimated to be the leading cause of death worldwide by the year 2020. Many pathogens including bacteria, protozoa, and viruses are associated with inflammatory heart disease in patients, and can induce similar disease in animal models. Recognition of pathogens by the innate immune system leads to the release of proinflammatory cytokines that both reduce infection and increase inflammation in the heart. Signaling
more » ... art. Signaling pathways that will eventually down-regulate cardiac inflammation, such as anti-inflammatory cytokines and regulatory T cells, are also initiated during the innate immune response. A careful balance between activation and regulation of the immune response to infection reduces the severity of inflammation in the heart, the leading cause of cardio-vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy.