Author(s): De Palma R, Del Galdo F, Abbate G, Chiariello M, Calabr R,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Recent studies indicate that T-cell activation may play an important role in the pathophysiology of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, although those studies detected T-cell expansion in peripheral blood cells, demonstration of specific T-cell expansion within the plaque of patients with ACS is lacking. The present study aims to address whether a specific, immune-driven T-lymphocyte recruitment occurs within the unstable plaque of patients with ACS. METHODS AND RESULTS: We simultaneously examined the T-cell repertoire using CDR3 size analysis both in coronary plaques (obtained by directional atherectomy) and in peripheral blood of patients with either ACS (n=11) or chronic stable angina (n=10). Unstable plaques showed a 10-fold increase in T-cell content by quantitative PCR. Using spectratyping analysis, we found several specific T-cell clonotype expansions only in unstable plaque from each patient with ACS, indicating a specific, antigen-driven recruitment of T cells within unstable lesions. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, T-cell repertoire was investigated directly into coronary plaques; using this approach, we demonstrate that coronary plaque instability in the setting of ACS is associated with immune-driven T-cell recruitment, specifically within the plaque.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology