Background Critical impairment of adaptive immune response has been observed in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) with reduced expansion of regulatory T cells (Treg) and enhanced effector T-cell responsiveness, both associated with poorer outcomes. Objectives This study investigated the mechanisms underlying T-cell dysregulation in ACS. Methods We evaluated both early and downstream T-cell receptor activation pathways after ex vivo stimulation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 crosslink in CD4+ T cells from 20 patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), 20 with stable angina (SA), and 20 controls. We reassessed 10 NSTEMI and 10 SA patients after 1 year. Results Phospho-flow analysis revealed reduced phosphorylation of the zeta-chain-associated protein kinase of 70 kDa at the inhibitory residue tyrosine 292, enhancing T-cell activation, in NSTEMI helper T cells versus SA and controls (each, p < 0.001), resulting from increased expression of the protein tyrosine phosphatase, nonreceptor type, 22 (PTPN22) (p < 0.001 for both comparisons), persisting at follow-up. We also observed reduced phosphorylation (p < 0.001 versus controls) and lower levels of binding to interleukins 2 and 10 core promoter regions of the transcription factor cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein (CREB) in NSTEMI (p < 0.05 vs. controls), which recovered at 1 year. Finally, in NSTEMI patients, helper T cells had a reduced ability in T-cell receptor-induced Treg generation (p = 0.002 vs. SA; p = 0.001 vs. controls), partially recovered at 1 year. Restoring CREB activity and silencing PTPN22 enhanced NSTEMI patients' ability to generate Treg. Conclusions The persistent overexpression of PTPN22 and the transient reduction of CREB activity, associated with impaired Treg differentiation, might play a role in ACS.
- immune system
- signaling pathway
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine