Inflammation is supposed to help protect us—it’s part of an immune response to fight off pathogens and clear infections. But patients with cardiac disease often have chronic inflammation that damages their hearts, even with no infection present.
In a recent study published in Circulation, immunologists at Tufts University School of Medicine in collaboration with investigators at Vanderbilt University and Tufts Medical Center revealed a mechanism that is activating T cells, a type of immune cell, and causing inflammation in the heart.
“Not all inflammation is the same,” says Pilar Alcaide, a Kenneth and JoAnn G. Wellner Professor at the School of Medicine and corresponding author on the study. “We really need to investigate the immunological aspects of the heart and other organs to try to be specific about targeting disease.”
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