About this Research Topic
Systemic inflammation and immune activation are now recognized as key risk contributor factors for cardiovascular diseases. Viral infections, autoimmune diseases and aging are associated with an increased risk of disease. Among viruses, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is most strongly associated with cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis and Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 viruses have been found in atherosclerotic lesions. Other viral infections such as HIV have been shown to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. In addition, in patients with underlying cardiovascular disease, influenza infection is associated with an increase of cardiovascular events.
Other pathological conditions associated with cardiovascular disease are autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic disease and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), among others. Lastly, adults of 65 and older have a higher incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases than younger adults. The accumulation of age-related phenotypic and functional defects in all compartments of the immune system play an important role in the decline of the cardiovascular system.
While the mechanisms of the association between viral infection, autoimmunity and aging and cardiovascular disease are largely unknown, common features between them are inflammation and immune activation. Endothelial inflammation and dysfunction are the main drivers of cardiovascular disease and the immune system participates in this process. The adaptive immune system is now recognized as an important player in several cardiovascular conditions and it has been found that T cells can promote vascular inflammation. T cells patrol peripheral tissues including atherosclerotic arteries and several subsets of CD4 T cells such as Th1, Th17 and, CD8 T cells are involved in the inflammatory process. In adults 65 or older and during chronic infections such as HIV, senescent T cells have pro-inflammatory functions and possess a pathogenic potential, promoting endothelial inflammation and contributing to the pathology of the disease.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a comprehensive overview and the latest research of the role of T cell activation in endothelial inflammation and the impact in cardiovascular disease in the context of viral infection, autoimmunity and aging. We seek Original Research articles, Reviews, Mini‐Reviews, Methods, and Perspective that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
1. The role of T cell activation in endothelial inflammation and disease
2. The immunology of cardiovascular disease in infection, autoimmunity and aging
Dr. Ferrando-Martinez is an employee of AstraZeneca. All other Topic Editors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to the Research Topic theme
Keywords: CD8 T cells, T cells, endothelial inflammation, T cells and cardiovascular disease
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