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Journal of Immunology








Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a common disease with often life-threatening consequences. This vascular disorder is responsible for 1-2% of all deaths in men aged 65 years or older. Autoimmunity may be responsible for the pathogenesis of AAA. Although it is well documented that infiltrating T cells are essentially always present in AAA lesions, little is known about their role in the initiation and/or progression of the disease. To determine whether T cells infiltrating AAA lesions contain clonally expanded populations of T cells, we amplified beta-chain TCR transcripts by the nonpalindromic adaptor-PCR/Vbeta-specific PCR and/or Vbeta-specific PCR, followed by cloning and sequencing. We report in this article that aortic abdominal aneurysmal lesions from 8 of 10 patients with AAA contained oligoclonal populations of T cells. Multiple identical copies of beta-chain TCR transcripts were identified in these patients. These clonal expansions are statistically significant. These results demonstrate that alphabeta TCR(+) T lymphocytes infiltrating aneurysmal lesions of patients with AAA have undergone proliferation and clonal expansion in vivo at the site of the aneurysmal lesion, in response to unidentified self- or nonself Ags. This evidence supports the hypothesis that AAA is a specific Ag-driven T cell disease.


This article is an "Author Choice Article" and freely available from the Journal of Immunology:

Original Publication Citation

Lu, S., White, J. V., Lin, W. L., Zhang, X., Solomides, C., Evans, K., . . . Platsoucas, C. D. (2014). Aneurysmal lesions of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm contain clonally expanded T cells. Journal of Immunology, 192(10), 4897-4912. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1301009