Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a life-threatening immunological disease responsible for 1 to 2% of all deaths in 65 year old or older individuals. Although mononuclear cell infiltrates have been demonstrated in AAA lesions and autoimmunity may be responsible for the initiation and account for the propagation of the disease, the information available about the pathogenesis of AAA is limited. To examine whether AAA lesions from patients with AAA contain clonally expanded α-chain TCR transcripts, we amplified by the non-palindromic adaptor-PCR (NPA-PCR)/Vα-specific PCR and/or the Vα-specific PCR these α-chain TCR transcripts. The amplified transcripts were cloned and sequenced. Substantial proportions of identical α-chain TCR transcripts were identified in AAA lesions of 4 of 5 patients, demonstrating that clonally expanded T cells are present in these AAA lesions. These results were statistically significant by the bimodal distribution. Three of 5 of these patients were typed by DNA-based HLA-typing and all three expressed DRB1 alleles containing the DRβGln70 amino acid residue that has been demonstrated to be associated with AAA. All three patients exhibited clonally expanded T cells in AAA lesions. Four of the 5 patients with AAA who exhibited clonal expansions of α-chain TCR transcripts, also exhibited clonal expansions of β-chain TCR transcripts in AAA lesions, as we have demonstrated previously (J Immunol 192:4897, 2014). αβ TCR-expressing T cells infiltrating AAA lesions contain T-cell clones which have undergone proliferation and clonal expansion in vivo in response to as yet unidentified specific antigens that may be self or nonself. These results provide additional evidence supporting the hypothesis that AAA is a specific antigen-driven T-cell autoimmune disease.
Original Publication Citation
Lu, S., White, J. V., Judy, R. I., Merritt, L. L., Lin, W. L., Zhang, X., . . . Platsoucas, C. D. (2019). Clonally expanded alpha-chain T-cell receptor (TCR) transcripts are present in aneurysmal lesions of patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). PloS one, 14(7), e0218990 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218990
Lu, Song; White, John V.; Judy, Raquel I.; Merritt, Lisa L.; Lin, Wan Lu; Zhang, Xiaoying; Solomides, Charalambos; Nwaneshiudu, Ifeyinwa; Gaughan, John; Monos, Dimitri S.; Oleszak, Emilia L.; and Platsoucas, Chris D., "Clonally Expanded Alpha-Chain T-Cell Receptor (TCR) Transcripts are Present in Aneurysmal Lesions of Patients With Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)" (2019). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 387.