alexa Regulatory T Cells and Atherosclerosis
ISSN: 2155-9880

Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

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Review Article

Regulatory T Cells and Atherosclerosis

Jahaira Lopez –Pastrana, Xiaojin Sha#, Anthony Virtue#, Jietang Mai#, Ramon Cueto#, In Ae Lee, Hong Wang and Xiao-feng Yang*
Cardiovascular Research Center, Department of Pharmacology and Thrombosis Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA
#Authors contributed equally
Corresponding Author : Xiao-Feng Yang, MD, PhD, FAHA
Cardiovascular Research Center
Department of Pharmacology and Thrombosis Research Center
Temple University School of Medicine
3500 North Broad Street, MERB 1059
Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA
Tel: 215-707-5985
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: August 25, 2012; Accepted: October 05, 2012; Published: October 08, 2012
Citation: Pastrana JL, Sha X, Virtue A, Mai J, Cueto R, et al. (2012) Regulatory T Cells and Atherosclerosis. J Clin Exp Cardiolog S12:002. doi:10.4172/2155-9880.S12-002
Copyright: © 2012 Pastrana JL et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Atherosclerosis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease. The involvement of both innate and adaptive immune responses in the pathogenesis of the disease has been well recognized. Tregs are an essential part of the immune system and have indispensable functions in maintaining immune system homeostasis, mediating peripheral tolerance, preventing autoimmune diseases, and suppressing inflammatory and proatherogenic immune response. Tregs carry out their immunosuppressive functions via several mechansims. One of the well-documented suppressive mechanisms of Tregs is the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines including IL-10, TGF-β, and IL-35. Studies have found that IL-10 and TGF-β have atheroprotective properties. In addition, Tregs can suppress the activity of proatherogenic effector T cells, suggesting an atheroprotective role. In fact, fewer Tregs are found in atherogenic ApoE-/- mice comparing to wild-type mice, suggesting an uncontrolled balance between weakened Tregs and effector T cells in atherogenesis. Some clinical studies of autoimmune diseases also suggest that decreased Tregs numbers are associated with increased disease activity. The importance of Tregs in many autoimmune diseases and experimental atherosclerosis has been established in in vivo and in vitro studies. However, the roles of Tregs in atherosclerosis in the clinical setting remains to be further characterized.

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