© 2017 The Authors. Background-T cells are found in atherosclerotic plaques, with evidence supporting a potential role for CD8+ T cells in atherogenesis. Prior studies provide evidence of low-density lipoprotein and apoB-100 reactive T cells, yet specific epitopes relevant to the disease remain to be defined. The current study was undertaken to identify and characterize endogenous, antigenspecific CD8+ T cells in atherosclerosis. Methods and Results-A peptide fragment of apoB-100 that tested positive for binding to the mouse MHC-I allele H2Kb was used to generate a fluorescent-labeled H2Kb pentamer and tested in apoE-/- mice. H2Kb pentamer(+)CD8+ T cells were higher in apoE-/- mice fed an atherogenic diet compared with those fed a normal chow. H2Kb pentamer (+)CD8+ T cells in atherogenic diet-fed mice had significantly increased effector memory phenotype with a shift in Vβ profile. H2Kb pentamer blocked lytic activity of CD8+ T cells from atherogenic diet-fed mice. Immunization of age-matched apoE-/- mice with the apoB-100 peptide altered the immune-dominant epitope of CD8+ T cells and reduced atherosclerosis. Conclusions-Our study provides evidence of a self-reactive, antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell population in apoE-/- mice. Immune modulation using the peptide antigen reduced atherosclerosis in apoE-/- mice.
Dimayuga, P. C., Zhao, X., Yano, J., Lio, W. M., Zhou, J., Mihailovic, P. M., … Chyu, K. Y. (2017). Identification of apoB-100 peptide-specific CD8+ T cells in atherosclerosis. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(7). https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.116.005318