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Evidence for a role of regulatory T cells in mediating the atheroprotective effect of apolipoprotein B peptide vaccine.

  • Maria Wigren
  • Daniel Kolbus
  • Pontus Dunér
  • Irena Ljungcrantz
  • Ingrid Söderberg
  • Harry Björkbacka
  • Gunilla Nordin Fredrikson
  • Jan Nilsson
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 546-556
Publication/Series: Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume: 269
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Abstract english

Abstract. Wigren M, Kolbus D, Dunér P, Ljungcrantz I, Söderberg I, Björkbacka H, Fredrikson GN, Nilsson J. (Malmö University Hospital, Lund University; Malmö University, Malmo; Sweden) Evidence for a role of regulatory T cells in mediating the atheroprotective effect of apolipoprotein B peptide vaccine. J Intern Med 2010; doi: 10.1111/j.13 65-2796.2010.02311.x. Objectives. Autoimmune responses against oxidized low-density lipoprotein are considered to play an important pro-inflammatory role in atherosclerosis and to promote disease progression. T-regulatory cells (Tregs) are immunosuppressive cells that have an important part in maintaining self-tolerance and protection against autoimmunity. We investigated whether aBp210, a prototype atherosclerosis vaccine based on a peptide sequence derived from apolipoprotein B, inhibits atherosclerosis through the activation of Tregs. Design. Six-week-old Apoe(-/-) mice were immunized with aBp210 and received booster immunizations 3 and 5 weeks later, as well as 1 week before being killed at 25 weeks of age. Results. At 12 weeks, immunized mice had increased expression of the Treg marker CD25 on circulating CD4 cells, and concanavalin A (Con A)-induced interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-4, and IL-10 release from splenocytes was markedly depressed. At 25 weeks, there was a fivefold expansion of splenic CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3 Tregs, a 65% decrease in Con A-induced splenic T-cell proliferation and a 37% reduction in the development of atherosclerosis in immunized mice. Administration of blocking antibodies against CD25 neutralized aBp210-induced Treg activation as well as the reduction of atherosclerosis. Conclusions. The present findings demonstrate that immunization of Apoe(-/-) mice with the apolipoprotein B peptide vaccine aBp210 is associated with activation of Tregs. Administration of antibodies against CD25 results in depletion of Tregs and blocking of the atheroprotective effect of the vaccine. Modulation in atherosclerosis-related autoimmunity by antigen-specific activation of Tregs represents a novel approach for treatment of atherosclerosis.


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • ISSN: 1365-2796
E-mail: jan [dot] nilsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, House 91:12. SE-214 28 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00