Lymphocytic tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily co-stimulatory molecules in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis

Esther Smeets, Svenja Meiler, Esther Lutgens

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial*Academicpeer-review


The role of lymphocytes in the chronic inflammatory disease atherosclerosis has emerged over the past decade. Co-stimulatory molecules of the heterogeneous tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily play a pivotal role in lymphocyte activation, proliferation and differentiation. Here we describe the immune modulatory properties and mechanisms of four tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily members in atherosclerosis. CD40/CD40L, OX40L/OX40, CD70/CD27 and CD137/CD137L are present in human atherosclerotic plaques and have shown strong immune modulatory functions in atherosclerosis, resulting in either atherogenic or atheroprotective effects in mouse models of atherosclerosis. Insight into the immune modulatory mechanisms of co-stimulatory interactions in atherosclerosis can contribute to clinical exploitation of these interactions in the treatment of cardiovascular disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-524
JournalCurrent opinion in lipidology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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