Innate immune cell activation and epigenetic remodeling in symptomatic and asymptomatic atherosclerosis in humans in vivo.


We have recently reported that monocytes can undergo functional and transcriptional reprogramming towards a long-term pro-inflammatory phenotype after brief in vitro exposure to atherogenic stimuli such as oxidized LDL. This process is termed ‘trained immunity’, and is mediated by epigenetic remodeling and a metabolic switch towards increased aerobic glycolysis. We hypothesize that trained immunity contributes to atherogenesis. Therefore, we investigated the inflammatory phenotype and epigenetic remodeling of monocytes from patients with and without established atherosclerosis.


Monocytes were isolated from 20 patients with severe symptomatic coronary atherosclerosis (total plaque score >4 on coronary computed tomography angiography) and 17 patients with asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis and matched controls for both groups. Ex vivo stimulation, RNA analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation were performed.

Full article can be read here

DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.10.019

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°667837.