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