Abstract 3598: Critical Role of Th17-CD4+ T cells in Angiogenic Response to Hindlimb Ischemia in Mice
Background: Accumulating evidence indicates that CD4+ T cells contribute to the development of collateral vesssels in ischemic tissue; however, little is known about the responsible subset of CD4+ T cells in the induction of angiogenesis. Th17 cells are recently identified as a new subset of CD4+ T cells and have been associated with the pathogenesis of certain autoimmune diseases. Th17 cells specifically secrete interleukin-17 (IL-17) and regulate various biological functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of CD4+ T and Th17 cells in angiogenic response to hindlimb ischemia.
Methods and Results: Unilateral hindlimb ischemia was produced in wild-type (WT: C57BL/6, 8- to 10-week-old) mice treated with or without a neutralizing antibody against CD4. Blood flow perfusion and capillary formation were assessed by using a laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI) and CD31 immunostaining, respectively. Well-developed collateral vessels and capillary formation were observed in WT mice in response to hindlimb ischemia. Treatment with a neutralizing anti-CD4 antibody resulted in almost complete CD4+ T cell depletion (flow cytometry analysis, control: 45.4% vs. antibody: 1.0%) and a significant decrease in angiogenesis after the induction of hindlimb ischemia (LDPI, 21 days, control: 0.61 ± 0.1 vs. antibody: 0.41 ± 0.1, p<0.05). IL-17-deficient (IL-17−/−) mice also showed a significant reduction of blood flow perfusion, compared with WT mice (LDPI, day 14: 0.56 ± 0.3 vs. 0.31 ± 0.2, p<0.05; day 21: 0.66 ± 0.3 vs. 0.37 ± 0.3, p=0.05). IL-17−/− mice had severe ischemic damage of the limb and resulted in a 25% incidence of autoamputation by day 21 (no limb loss in WT mice). Furthermore, capillary formation was also decreased significantly in IL-17−/− mice (692.9 ± 165.6/mm2 vs. 1223.3 ± 267.3/mm2, p<0.01).
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that Th17 cells, a new subset of CD4+ T cells, contribute to the angiogenic response to hindlimb ischemia and provide new insights into the mechanism by which T cells promote collateral development and angiogenesis.