Artery Tertiary Lymphoid Organs Control Multilayered Territorialized Atherosclerosis B-Cell Responses in Aged ApoE−/− Mice

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Abstract

Objective—

Explore aorta B-cell immunity in aged apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE−/−) mice.

Approach and Results—

Transcript maps, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, immunofluorescence analyses, cell transfers, and Ig-ELISPOT (enzyme-linked immunospot) assays showed multilayered atherosclerosis B-cell responses in artery tertiary lymphoid organs (ATLOs). Aging-associated aorta B-cell–related transcriptomes were identified, and transcript atlases revealed highly territorialized B-cell responses in ATLOs versus atherosclerotic lesions: ATLOs showed upregulation of bona fide B-cell genes, including Cd19, Ms4a1 (Cd20), Cd79a/b, and Ighm although intima plaques preferentially expressed molecules involved in non–B effector responses toward B-cell–derived mediators, that is, Fcgr3 (Cd16), Fcer1g (Cd23), and the C1q family. ATLOs promoted B-cell recruitment. ATLO B-2 B cells included naive, transitional, follicular, germinal center, switched IgG1+, IgA+, and IgE+ memory cells, plasmablasts, and long-lived plasma cells. ATLOs recruited large numbers of B-1 cells whose subtypes were skewed toward interleukin-10+ B-1b cells versus interleukin-10− B-1a cells. ATLO B-1 cells and plasma cells constitutively produced IgM and IgG and a fraction of plasma cells expressed interleukin-10. Moreover, ApoE−/− mice showed increased germinal center B cells in renal lymph nodes, IgM-producing plasma cells in the bone marrow, and higher IgM and anti–MDA-LDL (malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein) IgG serum titers.

Conclusions—

ATLOs orchestrate dichotomic, territorialized, and multilayered B-cell responses in the diseased aorta; germinal center reactions indicate generation of autoimmune B cells within the diseased arterial wall during aging.

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