Interleukin-15 expression in atherosclerotic plaques: An alternative pathway for T-cell activation in atherosclerosis?

  • Houtkamp M
  • Van Der Wal A
  • De Boer O
 et al. 
  • 5

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 40

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

T-cell activation in atherosclerotic plaques is thought to be initiated by plaque-derived antigens, such as oxidized LDL (oxLDL). An alternative pathway of T-cell activation independent of antigen stimulation, mediated by the cytokine interleukin (IL)-15, was recently described. We investigated IL-15 expression in atherosclerotic plaques in relation to plaque morphology, inflammatory cells, T-cell activation, and oxidation-specific epitopes by use of immunohistochemistry. In situ hybridization was used to evaluate IL-15 mRNA expression. We also studied the proliferative response of plaque-derived T-cell lines to IL-15 in vitro using [(3)H]thymidine incorporation. Fresh-frozen specimens were classified as fibrous (n=9), fibrolipid (n=8), and lipid-rich (n=14) plaques; normal vessels (n=4) served as reference. Expression of IL-15 mRNA and protein was found almost solely in fibrolipid and lipid-rich plaques, associated with oxLDL-positive macrophages. Sequential immunostains revealed colocalization between IL-15- and CD40L-positive T cells. Moreover, plaque-derived T-cell lines were highly responsive to IL-15. Hence, IL-15 could provide a pathway for antigen-independent T-cell activation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cell-mediated immunity
  • Interleukin-15
  • Macrophages
  • T-cell activation

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free