Inflammatory Cell Phenotypes in AAAs
Their Role and Potential as Targets for Therapy
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are characterized by chronic inflammatory cell infiltration. AAA is typically an asymptomatic disease and caused ≈15 000 deaths annually in the United States. Previous studies have examined both human and murine aortic tissue for the presence of various inflammatory cell types. Studies show that in both human and experimental AAAs, prominent inflammatory cell infiltration, such as CD4+ T cells and macrophages, occurs in the damaged aortic wall. These cells have the ability to undergo phenotypic modulation based on microenvironmental cues, potentially influencing disease progression. Proinflammatory CD4+ T cells and classically activated macrophages dominate the landscape of aortic infiltrates. The skew to proinflammatory phenotypes alters disease progression and plays a role in causing chronic inflammation. The local cytokine production and presence of inflammatory mediators, such as extracellular matrix breakdown products, influence the uneven balance of the inflammatory infiltrate phenotypes. Understanding and developing new strategies that target the proinflammatory phenotype could provide useful therapeutic targets for a disease with no current pharmacological intervention.
- Received January 9, 2015.
- Accepted May 11, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.