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Publications (2)3.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play an important role in the regulation of T cell-mediated immune responses through suppression of T cell proliferation and cytokine production. In atherosclerosis, a chronic autoimmune-like disease, an imbalance between pro-inflammatory cells (Th1/Th2) and anti-inflammatory cells (Tregs) exists. Therefore, increased Treg numbers may be beneficial for patients suffering from atherosclerosis. In the present study, we determined the effect of a vast expansion of Tregs on the initiation and regression of well-established lesions. For in vivo Treg expansion, LDL receptor deficient (LDLr(-/-)) mice received repeated intraperitoneal injections of a complex of IL-2 and anti-IL-2 mAb. This resulted in a 10-fold increase in CD4(+)CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) T cells, which potently suppressed effector T cells ex vivo. During initial atherosclerosis, IL-2 complex treatment of LDLr(-/-) mice fed a Western-type diet reduced atherosclerotic lesion formation by 39%. The effect on pre-existing lesions was assessed by combining IL-2 complex treatment with a vigorous lowering of blood lipid levels in LDLr(-/-) mice. This did not induce regression of atherosclerosis, but significantly enhanced lesion stability. Our data show differential roles for Tregs during atherosclerosis: Tregs suppress inflammatory responses and attenuate initial atherosclerosis development, while during regression Tregs can improve stabilization of the atherosclerotic lesions.
    Atherosclerosis 05/2011; 218(1):53-60. · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Atherosclerosis Supplements - ATHEROSCLER SUPPL. 01/2009; 10(2).