Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Aims - Aortic adaptive immunity plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis; however, the precise mechanisms leading to T cell activation in the arterial wall remain poorly understood. Methods and Results - Here we have identified naïve T cells in the aorta of wild-type and TCR transgenic mice and we demonstrate that naïve T cells can be primed directly in the vessel wall with a similar activation profile to splenic and lymphoid T cells. Aortic homing of naïve T cells is regulated at least in part by the P-selectin glycosylated ligand-1 (PSGL-1) receptor. In experimental atherosclerosis the aorta supports CD4+ T cell activation selectively driving Th1 polarization. By contrast, secondary lymphoid organs display Treg expansion. Conclusions - Our results demonstrate that the aorta can support T cell priming and that naïve T cells traffic between the circulation and vessel wall. These data underpin the paradigm that local priming of T cells specific for plaque antigens contributes to atherosclerosis progression.


Journal article


Cardiovascular Research


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date



Aorta, Atherosclerosis, Priming, T Cells