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.

A new study published in Circulation Research shows that CD200, an inhibitory immune checkpoint, reduces the development of atherosclerosis.

Illustration of artherosclerosis © SHUTTERSTOCK

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which fatty substances build-up within an artery, creating a plaque. Inflammatory processes, in particular monocyte and macrophage supply and recruitment, are key to the development of atherosclerosis, which over time can harden the arteries, restricting blood flow and oxygen supply to vital organs and increasing the risk of serious complications of cardiovascular disease such as strokes and heart attacks. 

During the study Claudia Monaco, lead author, found that CD200 deficiency led to increased monopoiesis and an accumulation of monocytes and macrophages during atherogenesis, leading to worse atherosclerosis. However, by administrating a CD200-Fusion protein to activate the pathway, the team found that neointima formation, was reduced. 

“Both systemic and local components of the immune system are important in atherogenesis, and CD200 can regulate both systemic and local inflammatory factors by acting within the artery wall but also on monopoiesis in the bone marrow,” said Claudia.  

CD200 controls macrophage activation by interacting with the inhibitory receptor CD200R. The CD200 - CD200R pathway was shown to restrain activation of CD200R+ lesional macrophages, their production of CCR2 ligands, and monocyte recruitment in vitro and in vivo in an air pouch model. 

Bone marrow chimera experiments performed by the team revealed that the CD200 – CD200R pathway enables two complementary and tissue dependent strategies to limit atherogenesisCD200 expression by bone-marrow derived cells limits systemic monocytosis, while CD200 expression by non-haematopoietic cells, for example endothelial cells, prevents local plaque growth, said Claudia. 

This is the first study to reveal a role for the CD200/CD200R pathway in atherosclerosis and it makes it a possible target for finding a potential therapeutic pathway to treat cardiovascular disease. This research was supported by the British Heart Foundation, The European Commission, the Kennedy trustees and the Novo Nordisk Foundation. 

The research is explained in Nature Reviews Cardiology. 

Similar stories

Sara Khalid named Associate Professor at NDORMS

The University of Oxford has awarded the title of Associate Professor to Dr Sara Khalid as part of its recognition of excellence awards.

Max Stewart awarded an MRC fellowship

A DPhil candidate at NDORMS, Max received the MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship to further his research into finding new treatments for peripheral nerve injuries.

The new Botnar strategy is announced

After a year as the Director of the Botnar Institute for Musculoskeletal Sciences, Professor Jonathan Rees announces a new structure and strategy that will further enhance research and treatment of bone, joint and musculoskeletal conditions.

New global health grant to improve outcomes for patients with hip fracture

Hip fracture patients in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) in Asia are set to benefit from a new study that aims to bring best practice programmes to improve quality of life for patients and reduce healthcare costs.

NDORMS welcomes great-granddaughter of former Head of Department

Julia Strubell, great-granddaughter of Professor Josep Trueta, visited NDORMS to find out about his time here and to share her own work with staff and students.

Botnar researchers awarded Fellowships

Arani Vivekanantham has been awarded an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship and a Versus Arthritis Clinical Research Fellowship, and Rachel Kuo was awarded an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship.