Natural regulatory T cells control the development of atherosclerosis in mice

Nat Med. 2006 Feb;12(2):178-80. doi: 10.1038/nm1343. Epub 2006 Feb 5.


Atherosclerosis is an immunoinflammatory disease elicited by accumulation of lipids in the artery wall and leads to myocardial infarction and stroke. Here, we show that naturally arising CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells, which actively maintain immunological tolerance to self and nonself antigens, are powerful inhibitors of atherosclerosis in several mouse models. These results provide new insights into the immunopathogenesis of atherosclerosis and could lead to new therapeutic approaches that involve immune modulation using regulatory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / deficiency
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / immunology
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • B7-1 Antigen / genetics
  • CD28 Antigens / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • CD28 Antigens
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Rag2 protein, mouse