The adaptive immune response is involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis and IL-17A(+) cells play a role in this disease. Although elevated number of CD4(+) IL-17A(+) (Th17) and IL-17A(+)TCRγδ(+) T cells are found within murine atherosclerotic aortas and human plaques, the mechanisms governing IL-17A(+) T-cell migration to atherosclerotic lesions are unclear. The chemokine receptor CXCR6 is expressed on several T-cell subsets and plays a pro-atherogenic role in atherosclerosis. Here, we used CXCR6-deficient (Cxcr6 (GFP/GFP) ) apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe (-/-) ) mice to investigate the involvement of CXCR6 in the recruitment IL-17A(+) T cells to atherosclerotic aortas. Flow cytometric analyses revealed reductions in Th17 and IL-17A(+)TCRγδ(+) T cells within aged Cxcr6 (GFP/GFP) Apoe (-/-) aortas, in comparison with age-matched Cxcr6 (GFP/+) Apoe (-/-) aortas. Although CXCR6-sufficient IL-17A(+) T cells efficiently migrated toward CXCL16, the migration of CXCR6-deficient IL-17A(+) T cells was abolished in transwell assays. Importantly, the recruitment of Cxcr6 (GFP/GFP) Apoe (-/-) IL-17A(+) T cells into the aortas of Apoe (-/-) recipients was markedly reduced in short-term adoptive transfer experiments. Altogether these results demonstrate an important role of CXCR6 in the regulation of pathological Th17 and IL-17A(+)TCRγδ(+) T-cell recruitment into atherosclerotic lesions.
Keywords: IL-17A; atherosclerosis; chemokine receptor; immune system; lymphocytes.
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