Cytokine profiles and T cell function in acute coronary syndromes

Atherosclerosis. 2007 Feb;190(2):443-51. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.02.034. Epub 2006 Mar 29.


Aims: In advanced human atherosclerotic plaques infiltrating T cells congregate at sites of plaque rupture. However, little is known about the systemic activation of circulating T cells in acute coronary syndromes as a prerequisite for recruitment to atherosclerotic lesions.

Methods and results: As a measure for specific lymphocyte activation we analyzed IFN-gamma production of T cells after stimulation with a superantigen and expression of CXCR-3 and CCR-3 in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), unstable angina (uAP) or stable angina (sAP). Furthermore, concentrations of the circulating cytokines interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-1beta, IL-12 p70 and RANTES that modify T cell function were measured. In uAP an increased Th1 and a decreased Th2 response was identified by enhanced interferon-gamma generation of T lymphocytes, increased levels of IL-1beta, IL-12 p70 and RANTES and decreased expression of CCR3. In AMI a systemic inflammatory reaction predominates with enhanced expression of the early activation marker CD69 on T lymphocytes and elevated levels of IL-6 and IL-10 that suppress Th1 activation.

Conclusion: Interferon-gamma production of activated T cells in acute coronary syndromes may, therefore, be governed by the release of specific pro- and anti-lymphocyte activating cytokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Angina, Unstable / blood
  • Angina, Unstable / immunology
  • Chemokine CCL5 / blood
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / immunology*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukins