Artery Tertiary Lymphoid Organs Contribute to Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses in Advanced Mouse Atherosclerosis

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Tertiary lymphoid organs emerge in tissues in response to nonresolving inflammation. Recent research characterized artery tertiary lymphoid organs in the aorta adventitia of aged apolipoprotein E–deficient mice. The atherosclerosis-associated lymphocyte aggregates are organized into distinct compartments, including separate T-cell areas harboring conventional, monocyte-derived, lymphoid, and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, as well as activated T-cell effectors and memory cells; B-cell follicles containing follicular dendritic cells in activated germinal centers; and peripheral niches of plasma cells. Artery tertiary lymphoid organs show marked neoangiogenesis, aberrant lymphangiogenesis, and extensive induction of high endothelial venules. Moreover, newly formed lymph node–like conduits connect the external lamina with high endothelial venules in T-cell areas and also extend into germinal centers. Mouse artery tertiary lymphoid organs recruit large numbers of naïve T cells and harbor lymphocyte subsets with opposing activities, including CD4+ and CD8+ effector and memory T cells, natural and induced CD4+ regulatory T cells, and memory B cells at different stages of differentiation. These data suggest that artery tertiary lymphoid organs participate in primary immune responses and organize T- and B-cell autoimmune responses in advanced atherosclerosis. In this review, we discuss the novel concept that pro- and antiatherogenic immune responses toward unknown arterial wall–derived autoantigens may be organized by artery tertiary lymphoid organs and that disruption of the balance between pro- and antiatherogenic immune cell subsets may trigger clinically overt atherosclerosis.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles