Natural killer cells and CD4+ T-cells modulate collateral artery development

V. Van Weel, R. E.M. Toes, L. Seghers, M. M.L. Deckers, M. R. De Vries, P. H. Eilers, J. Sipkens, A. Schepers, D. Eefting, V. W.M. Van Hinsbergh, J. H. Van Bockel, P. H.A. Quax*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE - The immune system is thought to play a crucial role in regulating collateral circulation (arteriogenesis), a vital compensatory mechanism in patients with arterial obstructive disease. Here, we studied the role of lymphocytes in a murine model of hindlimb ischemia. METHODS AND RESULTS - Lymphocytes, detected with markers for NK1.1, CD3, and CD4, invaded the collateral vessel wall. Arteriogenesis was impaired in C57BL/6 mice depleted for Natural Killer (NK)-cells by anti-NK1.1 antibodies and in NK-cell-deficient transgenic mice. Arteriogenesis was, however, unaffected in Jα281-knockout mice that lack NK1.1 Natural Killer T (NKT)-cells, indicating that NK-cells, rather than NKT-cells, are involved in arteriogenesis. Furthermore, arteriogenesis was impaired in C57BL/6 mice depleted for CD4 T-lymphocytes by anti-CD4 antibodies, and in major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-class-II-deficient mice that more selectively lack mature peripheral CD4 T-lymphocytes. This impairment was even more profound in anti-NK1.1-treated MHC-class-II-deficient mice that lack both NK- and CD4 T-lymphocytes. Finally, collateral growth was severely reduced in BALB/c as compared with C57BL/6 mice, 2 strains with different bias in immune responsiveness. CONCLUSIONS - These data show that both NK-cells and CD4 T-cells modulate arteriogenesis. Promoting lymphocyte activation may represent a promising method to treat ischemic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2310-2318
Number of pages9
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007

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