Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome Show Oligoclonal T-Cell Recruitment Within Unstable Plaque
Evidence for a Local, Intracoronary Immunologic Mechanism
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
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.
Received January 21, 2005; revision received September 28, 2005; accepted November 22, 2005.