2nd Immuno-Metabolic Mechanisms of Atherosclerosis Conference
Atherosclerosis and its complications remain the major cause of death in the industrialized world and emerging economies worldwide. Dyslipidemia constitutes a major risk factor for the development and progression of atherosclerotic lesions, but may also lead to systemic disturbances – particularly metabolic dysfunction – that also influence cellular metabolism and function. Atherosclerotic lesions formation is initiated after retention of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins within the arterial wall at sites characterized by low shear stress. Modification of retained lipoproteins and activation of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells trigger an inflammatory response and provoke a series of cellular events involving complex interactions between vascular cells, innate immune cells (e.g., neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages, dendritic cells, mast cells, B1 B lymphocytes, innate lymphoid cells) and cells involved in adaptive immunity to atherosclerosis-related antigens (e.g., Th1, Tregs, B2 lymphocytes). Depending on the balance between pro-inflammatory responses and resolution promoting pathways, lesion development is either delayed or accelerated towards the formation of advanced and complex plaques characterized by chronic unresolved inflammation, extensive matrix remodelling and formation of large thrombogenic necrotic cores. Defective repair and weakening of the protective fibrous cap ultimately leads to plaque disruption, which triggers acute thrombosis and vascular occlusion.
The goal of this meeting is to provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of current research on atherosclerosis with a focus on the latest and most exciting developments in the immuno-metabolic mechanisms that govern disease initiation and progression. There is little doubt that the next most exciting therapy to combat cardiovascular disease will be based on targeting biological pathways that will have been discussed during this conference.
Seven sessions are planned and will highlight the following major research areas:
- vessel wall and endothelial cell biology
- lipids and modified lipids in inflammation
- cellular lipid metabolism and immunity
- lipoproteins and immune regulation
- extracellular vesicles
- innate immunity and metabolic regulation of innate immune functions
- epigenetics and regulation of gene expression in immune cells
- mechanisms involving inflammasome activation of monocyte/macrophages
- trained immunity, pro- and anti-atherogenic mechanisms operated by selective subsets of T and B lymphocytes
- immunometabolism and lymphocytes
- aging and senescence in inflammation, hematopoiesis, and cardiovascular disease
- non coding RNAs in lipid metabolism and inflammation
- existing and validated targets that are now in late-phase clinical trials.
This conference will bring together a restricted but high-level group of scientists from different disciplines and participants from all career levels enabling thorough discussions of the latest research between established and young investigators and trainees, and cross-fertilization among scientists from a variety of backgrounds.
Chaired by: Ziad Mallat (University of Cambridge), Christoph Binder (Medical University of Vienna)
and Eicke Latz (University of Bonn)