Pathogenesis of thromboangiitis obliterans: Gene polymorphism and immunoregulation of human vascular endothelial cells

Atherosclerosis. 2017 Oct:265:258-265. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.08.009. Epub 2017 Aug 18.


Thromboangiitis obliterans (TAO) is a nonatherosclerotic, segmental, inflammatory vasculitis, which commonly affects the small- and medium-sized arteries of the upper and lower extremities. Despite its discovery more than a century ago, little progress has been made in its treatment. Unless the pathogenesis is elucidated, therapeutic approaches will be limited. The purpose of this review article is to collate current knowledge of mechanisms for the pathogenesis of thromboangiitis obliterans and to propose potential mechanisms from a genetic and immunoreactive point of view for its inception. Therefore, we discuss the possibility that the pathogenesis of this disease is due to a type of gene polymorphism, which leads to an immunological inflammatory vasculitis associated with tobacco abuse, highly linked to T cells, human vascular endothelial cells (HVECs), and the TLR-MyD88-NFκB pathway, distinct from arteriosclerosis obliterans and other vasculitides.

Keywords: Buerger's disease; IL-33; MyD88; Polymorphism; Thromboangiitis obliterans; Type 2 helper T cells.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endothelial Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Thromboangiitis Obliterans / genetics*
  • Thromboangiitis Obliterans / immunology*