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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2007 Dec;27(12):2691-8. Epub 2007 Aug 9.

Defective leptin/leptin receptor signaling improves regulatory T cell immune response and protects mice from atherosclerosis.

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1
Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, U689, 41 Bd de la Chapelle, Paris, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Obesity is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, the precise molecular pathways responsible for this close association remain poorly understood.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

In this study, we report that leptin-deficiency (ob/ob) in low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout (ldlr(-/-)) mice induces an unexpected 2.2- to 6-fold reduction in atherosclerotic lesion development, compared with ldlr(-/-) mice having similar total cholesterol levels. Ldlr(-/-)/ob/ob mice show reduced T cell helper type 1 (Th1) response, enhanced expression of Foxp3, the specification transcription factor of regulatory T (Treg) cells, and improved Treg cell function. Leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) mice display marked increase in the number and suppressive function of Treg cells. Supplementation of Treg-deficient lymphocytes with Treg cells from db/db mice in an experimental model of atherosclerosis induces a significant reduction of lesion size and a marked inhibition of interferon (INF)-gamma production, compared with supplementation by Treg cells from wild-type mice.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results identify a critical role for leptin/leptin receptor pathway in the modulation of the regulatory immune response in atherosclerosis, and suggest that alteration in regulatory immunity may predispose obese individuals to atherosclerosis.

Comment in

PMID:
17690315
DOI:
10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.149567
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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