Expansion of T-cell receptor zeta dim effector T cells in acute coronary syndromes.
Ammirati E., Vermi AC., Cianflone D., Banfi M., Foglieni C., Godino C., Airoldi F., Ferri LA., Gorman CL., Manfredi AA., Maseri A., Cope AP., Monaco C.
OBJECTIVE: The T-cell receptor zeta (TCR zeta)-chain is a master sensor and regulator of lymphocyte responses. Loss of TCR zeta-chain expression has been documented during infectious and inflammatory diseases and defines a population of effector T cells (TCR zeta(dim) T cells) that migrate to inflamed tissues. We assessed the expression and functional correlates of circulating TCR zeta(dim) T cells in coronary artery disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined the expression of TCR zeta-chain by flow cytometry in 140 subjects. Increased peripheral blood CD4(+) TCR zeta(dim) T cells were found in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS, n=66; median 5.3%, interquartile 2.6 to 9.1% of total CD4(+) T cells; P<0.0001) compared to chronic stable angina (CSA, n=32; 1.6%; 1.0 to 4.1%) and controls (n=42; 1.5%; 0.5 to 2.9%). Such increase was significantly greater in ACS patients with elevated levels of C-reactive protein, and it persisted after the acute event. Moreover, TCR zeta(dim) cells were also more represented within CD8(+) T cell, NK, and CD4(+)CD28(null) T cell subsets in ACS compared to CSA and controls. Finally, CD4(+) and CD8(+) TCR zeta(dim) T cells isolated from ACS displayed an enhanced transendothelial migratory capacity. CONCLUSIONS: TCR zeta(dim) T cells, an effector T-cell subset with transendothelial migratory ability, are increased in ACS, and may be implicated in coronary instability.