Universiteit Leiden

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Division of BioTherapeutics

Immune Activation and Tolerance

The Immune Activation and Tolerance group is headed by Dr. Bram Slütter. Vaccination is an experimental, but promising, treatment strategy for atherosclerosis. Previous work has shown that immunization of mice with modified LDL particles can reduce atherosclerotic lesion development, however such vaccines are difficult to produces and to characterize. Moreover, as the mechanism of action of this vaccine is unknown it is difficult to establish any correlates of protection and optimize the formulation to move these vaccines into clinical trials.

Our group works to:

1) understand the role of T-cells in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, with the aim of identifying athero-protective subsets that may be induced by immunization. For instance, we have recently described a protective role for CD8+ T-cells in advantage atherosclerotic lesion and are currently developing vaccine formulations to induce these cells. 

Rather than using LDL particles as an immunogen we:

2) identify proteins/peptide from LDL that are presented in the atherosclerotic lesion, to serve as antigen for future vaccines.

3) develop nanoparticulate carrier systems that not only enhance the immunogenicity of the antigen, but also generate the desired type of T-cell response (e.g. Treg, CTL).

Key publications

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