Interleukin-27 receptor limits atherosclerosis in Ldlr-/- mice

Ekaterina K. Koltsova, Gisen Kim, Kathleen M. Lloyd, Christiaan J.M. Saris, Sibylle Von Vietinghoff, Mitchell Kronenberg, Klaus Ley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


RATIONALE: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall. Several proinflammatory cytokines are known to promote atherosclerosis, but less is known about the physiological role of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin (IL)-27 is a recently discovered member of the IL-6/IL-12 family. The IL-27 receptor is composed of IL-27 receptor A (WSX-1) and gp130 and is required for all established IL-27 signaling pathways. The expression of the IL-27 subunit Ebi3 is elevated in human atheromas, yet its function in atherosclerosis remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test the role of IL-27 receptor signaling in immune cells in atherosclerosis development. METHODS AND RESULTS: Atherosclerosis-prone Ldlr mice transplanted with Il27ra bone marrow and fed Western diet for 16 weeks developed significantly larger atherosclerotic lesions in aortic roots, aortic arches, and abdominal aortas. Augmented disease correlated with increased accumulation of CD45 leukocytes and CD4 T cells in the aorta, which produced increased amounts of IL-17A and tumor necrosis factor. Several chemokines, including CCL2, were upregulated in the aortas of Ldlr mice receiving Il27ra bone marrow, resulting in accumulation of CD11b and CD11c macrophages and dendritic cells in atherosclerotic aortas. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of anti-inflammatory IL-27 signaling skews immune responses toward T-helper 17, resulting in increased production of IL-17A and tumor necrosis factor, which in turn enhances chemokine expression and drives the accumulation of proatherogenic myeloid cells in atherosclerotic aortas. These findings establish a novel antiatherogenic role for IL-27 receptor signaling, which acts to suppress the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and to curb the recruitment of inflammatory myeloid cells into atherosclerotic aortas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1274-1285
Number of pages12
JournalCirculation research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 26 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • atherosclerosis
  • chemokines
  • cytokines
  • inflammation
  • leukocyte recruitment
  • vascular inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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