Immunology of atherosclerosis

Our research team focuses on immune reactions in atherosclerosis. We investigate adaptive immune reactions against low-density lipoproteins, immune control of cholesterol metabolism, and cellular immunometabolism.

Team Gisterå is one of the teams within the research group Pathophysiological mechanisms of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases

Our research

Recent clinical trials have established the effectiveness of immunotherapy in atherosclerosis but more specific targeting of inflammatory risk is needed. Autoimmune reactions towards low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are prevalent in the immune inflammation that propagates the disease and could control disease manifestations.

Our research team studies these immune reactions in various model systems and has observed substantial effects on atherosclerosis development and lipoprotein metabolism. Moreover, metabolic adaptations crucially shape the immune cell responses. Understanding the molecular and dynamic interplay between vascular immune reactions and lipoproteins could ultimately inform therapeutic intervention for human disease. We aim to find new therapeutic targets as well as be able to stratify cardiovascular patients according to LDL autoimmune status and plaque characteristics to accurately adapt treatments and follow-up.

Research support

Our work is supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, Karolinska Institutet Research Foundations, and Stiftelsen för Gamla Tjänarinnor.

Contact Team Gisterå

Anton Gisterå

Team leader, Assistant professor

Selected publications

Animal Models of Atherosclerosis-Supportive Notes and Tricks of the Trade.
Gisterå A, Ketelhuth DFJ, Malin SG, Hansson GK
Circ Res 2022 Jun;130(12):1869-1887.

Quantification of Atherosclerosis in Mice.
Centa M, Ketelhuth DFJ, Malin S, Gisterå A
J Vis Exp 2019 06;(148).

Lipid-driven immunometabolic responses in atherosclerosis.
Gisterå A, Ketelhuth DFJ
Curr Opin Lipidol 2018 10;29(5):375-380.

Low-Density Lipoprotein-Reactive T Cells Regulate Plasma Cholesterol Levels and Development of Atherosclerosis in Humanized Hypercholesterolemic Mice.
Gisterå A, Klement ML, Polyzos KA, Mailer RKW, Duhlin A, Karlsson MCI, Ketelhuth DFJ, Hansson GK
Circulation 2018 11;138(22):2513-2526.

The immunology of atherosclerosis.
Gisterå A, Hansson GK
Nat Rev Nephrol 2017 06;13(6):368-380.

Vaccination against T-cell epitopes of native ApoB100 reduces vascular inflammation and disease in a humanized mouse model of atherosclerosis.
Gisterå A, Hermansson A, Strodthoff D, Klement ML, Hedin U, Fredrikson GN, Nilsson J, Hansson GK, Ketelhuth DF
J Intern Med 2017 04;281(4):383-397.

Immunostaining of Lymphocytes in Mouse Atherosclerotic Plaque.
Gisterå A, Ketelhuth DF
Methods Mol Biol 2015 ;1339():149-59.