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 journalArticlepeer-review

66 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 2010
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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