Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2013 Aug 23;8(8):e71498. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071498. eCollection 2013.

Decreased naive and increased memory CD4(+) T cells are associated with subclinical atherosclerosis: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adaptive immunity has been implicated in atherosclerosis in animal models and small clinical studies. Whether chronic immune activation is associated with atherosclerosis in otherwise healthy individuals remains underexplored. We hypothesized that activation of adaptive immune responses, as reflected by higher proportions of circulating CD4(+) memory cells and lower proportions of naive cells, would be associated with subclinical atherosclerosis.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

We examined cross-sectional relationships of circulating CD4(+) naive and memory T cells with biomarkers of inflammation, serologies, and subclinical atherosclerosis in 912 participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Circulating CD4(+) naive cells were higher in women than men and decreased with age (all p-values <0.0001). European-Americans had higher levels of naive cells and lower levels of memory cells compared with African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans (all p-values ≤0.0005). Lower naive/higher memory cells were associated with interleukin-6 levels. In multivariate models, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and H. Pylori titers were strongly associated with higher memory and lower naive cells (all p-values <0.05). Higher memory cells were associated with coronary artery calcification (CAC) level in the overall population [β-Coefficient (95% confidence interval (CI))  = 0.20 (0.03, 0.37)]. Memory and naive (inversely) cells were associated with common carotid artery intimal media thickness (CC IMT) in European-Americans [memory: β =  0.02 (0.006, 0.04); naive: β = -0.02 (-0.004, -0.03)].

CONCLUSIONS:

These results demonstrate that the degree of chronic adaptive immune activation is associated with both CAC and CC IMT in otherwise healthy individuals, consistent with the known role of CD4(+) T cells, and with innate immunity (inflammation), in atherosclerosis. These data are also consistent with the hypothesis that immunosenescence accelerates chronic diseases by putting a greater burden on the innate immune system, and suggest the importance of prospective studies and research into strategies to modulate adaptive immune activation in chronic disease states such as atherosclerosis.

PMID:
24009662
PMCID:
PMC3751895
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0071498
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center