Immune hematology

The researches find that the the immune system also plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, but how cholesterol and the immune system interact is still undiscovered. Because An immune system is a collection of biological processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumour cells.

The immune system

It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism’s own healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly. Therefore Detection is complicate as pathogens can evolve rapidly; producing adaptations that avoid the immune system and allow the pathogens to successfully infect their hosts.

To survive this challenge; multiple mechanisms evolved that recognize and neutralize pathogens. Even simple unicellular organisms such as bacteria possess enzyme systems that protect against viral infections. But Other basic immune mechanisms evolved in ancient eukaryotes and remain in their modern descendants; such as plants, fish, reptiles, and insects. These mechanisms include antimicrobial peptides called defensins, phagocytosis; and the complement system.

Bacteria possess enzyme

Vertebrates such as humans have even more sophisticated defense mechanisms. The immune systems of vertebrates consist of many types of proteins, cells, organs, and tissues; which interact in an elaborate and dynamic network. As part of this more complex immune response, the human immune system adapts over time to recognise specific pathogens more efficiently. This adaptation process is referr to as “adaptive immunity” or “acquired immunity” and creates immunological memory.

Immunological memory created from a primary response to a specific pathogen; provides an enhanced response to secondary encounters with that same; specific pathogen. This process of acquired immunity is the basis of vaccination. A recent study from the Netherlands now provides a novel potential explanation for this residual cardiovascular risk; related to persistent activation of the immune system in patients with hypercholesterolemia who are treated with statins.

Residual cardiovascular risk

Siroon Bekkering, Radboud university medical center, Nijmegen, with colleagues from Amsterdam and Rotterdam investigated the activity of part of the immune system in individuals with and without high cholesterol levels. It appeared that specific immune cells in the blood (monocytes); were more activated in patients with high cholesterol levels than in individuals with normal cholesterol levels; these cells produced more inflammatory molecules that are important in the development of cardiovascular disease.

Subsequently, the patients with high cholesterol were treated with statins to lower their cholesterol levels and the same measurements were repeated three months later. Importantly; despite cholesterol lowering, the hyperactivity of the immune cells did not decrease at all.