Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 553–562

Monocyte heterogeneity in cardiovascular disease

  • Peter Libby
  • Matthias Nahrendorf
  • Filip K. Swirski

DOI: 10.1007/s00281-013-0387-3

Cite this article as:
Libby, P., Nahrendorf, M. & Swirski, F.K. Semin Immunopathol (2013) 35: 553. doi:10.1007/s00281-013-0387-3


Only a few decades ago, students of the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease paid little heed to the involvement of inflammation and immunity. Multiple lines of evidence now point to the participation of innate and adaptive immunity and inflammatory signaling in a variety of cardiovascular conditions. Hence, interest has burgeoned in this intersection. This review will focus on the contribution of innate immunity to both acute injury to the heart muscle itself, notably myocardial infarction, and to chronic inflammation in the artery wall, namely atherosclerosis, the cause of most myocardial infarctions. Our discussion of the operation of innate immunity in cardiovascular diseases will focus on functions of the mononuclear phagocytes, with special attention to emerging data regarding the participation of different functional subsets of these cells in cardiovascular pathophysiology.


Myocardial infarction Atherosclerosis Acute coronary syndromes Inflammation Mononuclear phagocytes Innate immunity 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Libby
    • 1
  • Matthias Nahrendorf
    • 2
  • Filip K. Swirski
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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