Functional characterization of T cells in abdominal aortic aneurysms

Nerys D. Forester, Sheena M. Cruickshank, D. Julian A. Scott, Simon R Carding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)


Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) exhibit features of a chronic inflammatory disorder. The functional attributes of the T cells in AAA tissue are unclear, with little quantitative or functional data. Using a novel, non-enzymatic method to isolate viable cells from AAA tissue, functional properties of AAA T cells were investigated for the first time. Composition and phenotype of AAA T cells was determined by flow cytometry and verified by immunohistochemistry. Tissue mononuclear cells (MNCs) were cultured in the presence of T-cell mitogens, and cell cycle analysis and cytokine production assessed. Typical cell yield was 4·5 × 106 cells per gram of AAA tissue. The majority (58·1 ± 5·3%) of haematopoietic (CD45+) cells recovered were CD3+ T cells, B cells comprised 41·1 ± 5·7%, natural killer cells 7·3 ± 2·5%, and macrophages 2%. Freshly isolated T cells were in resting (G1) state, with 25% expressing the activation-associated cell surface antigens major histocompatibility complex II and CD25. When stimulated in vitro, a significant proportion entered S and G2 phase of the cell cycle, up-regulated CD25, and secreted tumour necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-6. Despite patient differences, the composition of the AAA inflammatory infiltrate was remarkably consistent, and when re-stimulated ex-vivo T cells produced a stereotypical cytokine response, consistent with the hypothesis that AAA T cells can promote tissue inflammation by secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, and in addition provide signals for B-cell help.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Cite this