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Epstein Barr virus specific T-cells generated from unstable human atherosclerotic lesions: Implications for plaque inflammation *


T-cell activation is an essential feature of atherosclerotic plaque inflammation, which eventually may lead to plaque rupture. In this study, we investigated if EBV, a common herpes virus, is capable of stimulating atherosclerotic plaque derived T-cells and thus could contribute to atherosclerotic plaque inflammation.


Plaque derived T-cell cultures were established from symptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques of 19 patients. B-cells from the same patients were transformed with EBV to form lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCL) that served as antigen presenting cells. The proliferation of T-cells in the presence of autologous B-LCL was analyzed using 3H-thymidine incorporation. The presence of EBV in atherosclerotic material was analyzed by PCR.


Of the 19 cell obtained T-cell cultures, 11 responded to EBV (58%, mean stimulation index: 10.1 ± 3.1). PCR analysis showed that EBV DNA was present in 15 of the tissue samples (79%). All the specimens that contained EBV responding T-cells also contained EBV. EBV specific T-cells secreted granzymes, as indication of functional cytotoxic potential.


EBV-specific cytotoxic T-cells and EBV DNA can be frequently observed in human atherosclerotic plaques. This suggests that a T-cell response against EBV could contribute to plaque inflammation, and thus to the onset of acute clinical symptoms.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 04-28-2008