Universiteit Leiden

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The role of the interleukin 12 family in atherosclerosis

Promotor: Johan Kuiper, Co-promotor: Saskia C.A. de Jager

O.H. Ramos
04 februari 2014
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The main underlying mechanism resulting in cardiovascular complications is the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in arteries. The progression of the lesion is hallmarked by a chronic inflammatory immune response in the arterial wall. Activated T helper cells differentiate into subsets, each producing a specific set of cytokines. T helper cell subsets contribute to the formation of the lesions, with a pro-atherogenic role for T helper 1 and a protective role for regulatory T cells. Cytokines of the IL-12 family play a crucial role in de differentiation of T helper cells. In this thesis I studied the role of IL-12 family members IL-27, IL-30 and IL-35 in atherosclerotic lesion formation. Furthermore the contribution of IL-37, part of the IL-1 family, was studied. In addition to modifications in lesion size and composition, I focus on the effects of the cytokines on T cell activation and differentiation.

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