Vaccination against Foxp3+ regulatory T cells aggravates atherosclerosis

T. van Es, G. H.M. van Puijvelde, A. C. Foks, K. L.L. Habets, I. Bot, E. Gilboa, T. J.C. Van Berkel, J. Kuiper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


Objective: Regulatory T cells are crucial for immune homeostasis and an impaired regulatory T cell function results in many pathological conditions. Regulatory T cells have already been described to be protective in atherosclerosis. However the exact contribution of Foxp3-expressing natural regulatory T cells in atherosclerosis has not been elucidated yet. Methods and results: In this study we vaccinated LDL receptor deficient mice with dendritic cells which are transfected with Foxp3 encoding mRNA and studied the effect on initial atherosclerosis. Vaccination against Foxp3 resulted in a reduction of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in several organs and in an increase in initial atherosclerotic lesion formation. Furthermore we observed an increase in plaque cellularity and increased T cell proliferation in the Foxp3 vaccinated mice. Conclusion: We further establish the protective role of Tregs in atherosclerosis. The results illustrate the important role for Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells in atherosclerosis, thereby providing a potential opportunity for therapeutic intervention against this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Atherosclerosis
  • Foxp3
  • Inflammation
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

van Es, T., van Puijvelde, G. H. M., Foks, A. C., Habets, K. L. L., Bot, I., Gilboa, E., Van Berkel, T. J. C., & Kuiper, J. (2010). Vaccination against Foxp3+ regulatory T cells aggravates atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, 209(1), 74-80.