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Circulation. 2006 Oct 10;114(15):1599-607. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

The chemokine and chemokine receptor profile of infiltrating cells in the wall of arteries with cardiac allograft vasculopathy is indicative of a memory T-helper 1 response.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite improvement in short-term patient survival after heart transplantation (HTx), long-term survival rates have not improved much, mainly because of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). Cytokines and chemokines are considered to play an important role in CAV development.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We focused on coronary arteries of HTx patients and made an inventory of the infiltrating cells and the expression of cytokines as well as chemokines and chemokine receptors (C+CR) in the different layers of the vessel wall with CAV. Tissue slides were stained for a variety of cell markers (CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD68, CD79a), chemokines (monokine induced by interferon [MIG], interferon-inducible protein 10 [IP-10], interferon-inducible T cell-alpha chemoattractant [ITAC], RANTES [regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted], and fractalkine), and chemokine receptors (CXCR3, CCR5, and CX3CR1). In reference coronary arteries (not transplanted), almost no infiltrating cells were found, and in transplanted hearts with CAV (HTx+CAV), a large number of T cells were observed (CD4:CD8=2:1), mainly localized in the neointima and adventitia. Most of these T cells appeared to be activated (human leukocyte antigen DR positive). Coronary arteries from transplanted hearts without CAV (HTx-CAV), HTx+CAV, and references were also analyzed for cytokine and C+CR mRNA expression with the use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Interferon-gamma was highly expressed in HTx+CAV compared with HTx-CAV. Interleukin-4 and interleukin-10 were expressed at the same level in both HTx groups and references. In HTx+CAV, all C+CR, but especially the T-helper 1 (TH1) C+CR, were more abundant than in the HTx-CAV and references. However, TH2 CCR4 expression did not differ significantly between both HTx groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

In coronary arteries with CAV, most T cells are CD4+ and express human leukocyte antigen DR. These activated TH cells are mainly memory TH1 cells on the basis of their C+CR profile and cytokine expression.

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PMID:
17015796
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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