Cytokine profiles and T cell function in acute coronary syndromes

Birgit A. Steppich, Philipp Moog, Christoph Matissek, Nicola Wisniowski, Jan Kühle, Nader Joghetaei, Franz Josef Neumann, Albert Schomig, Ilka Ott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


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-1β, 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-1β, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-451
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Acute coronary syndrom
  • Cytokines
  • T cells


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