B cell depletion significantly reduces the burden of several immune-mediated diseases. However, B cell activation has been until now associated with a protection against atherosclerosis, suggesting that B cell–depleting therapies would enhance cardiovascular risk. We unexpectedly show that mature B cell depletion using a CD20-specific monoclonal antibody induces a significant reduction of atherosclerosis in various mouse models of the disease. This treatment preserves the production of natural and potentially protective anti–oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) IgM autoantibodies over IgG type anti-oxLDL antibodies, and markedly reduces pathogenic T cell activation. B cell depletion diminished T cell–derived IFN-γ secretion and enhanced production of IL-17; neutralization of the latter abrogated CD20 antibody–mediated atheroprotection. These results challenge the current paradigm that B cell activation plays an overall protective role in atherogenesis and identify new antiatherogenic strategies based on B cell modulation
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.