BAFF Receptor Deficiency Reduces the Development of Atherosclerosis in Mice
Objective—The goal of this study was to assess the role of BAFF (B-cell activating factor) receptor in B-cell regulation of atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results—Male LDL receptor-deficient mice (Ldlr−/−) were lethally irradiated and reconstituted with either wild type or BAFF receptor (BAFF-R)–deficient bone marrow. After 4 weeks of recovery, mice were put on a high-fat diet for 6 or 8 weeks. BAFF-R deficiency in bone marrow cells led to a marked reduction of conventional mature B2 cells but did not affect the B1a cell subtype. This was associated with a significant reduction of dendritic cell activation and T-cell proliferation along with a reduction of IgG antibodies against malondialdehyde-modified LDL. In contrast, serum IgM type antibodies were preserved. Interestingly, BAFF-R deficiency was associated with a significant reduction in atherosclerotic lesion development and reduced numbers of plaque T cells. Selective BAFF-R deficiency on B cells led to a similar reduction in lesion size and T-cell infiltration but in contrast did not affect dendritic cell activation.
Conclusion—BAFF-R deficiency in mice selectively alters mature B2 cell-dependent cellular and humoral immune responses and limits the development of atherosclerosis.
- Received November 22, 2011.
- Accepted March 6, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.