Author(s): Benagiano M, Azzurri A, Ciervo A, Amedei A, Tamburini C,
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Abstract Atherosclerotic lesions are infiltrated by macrophages and T lymphocytes, potentially reactive to pathogens. We studied in vivo activated T lymphocytes that infiltrate atherosclerotic plaques of Helicobacter pylori-infected patients with or without anti-Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies. In all atherosclerotic lesions, T helper type 1 (Th1) cells were predominant. C. pneumoniae-specific T cells were detected only in the plaques of anti-C. pneumoniae seropositive patients, whereas H. pylori-specific T cells were found in the gastric mucosa but not in the plaques of the same patients. Plaque-derived Th1 cells expressed cytotoxicity, proapoptotic activity, and help for monocyte tissue factor production. Although multifactorial, atherosclerosis can be regarded as a Th1-driven immunopathological condition.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology