CD40-CD40L interactions in atherosclerosis

Esther Lutgens, Mat J.A.P. Daemen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Increasing evidence supports a central role for CD40-CD40L interactions in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Recently, we have shown that CD40L deficiency as well as pharmacological inhibition of CD40L in ApoE-/- mice results in the development of a stable atherosclerotic plaque phenotype. This phenotype is rich in smooth muscle cells and collagen, and contains only a small amount of macrophages and T-lymphocytes. CD40 and CD40L protein are present in almost all cell types in human atherosclerotic lesions. Expression was observed in early plaques, but was more predominant in advanced, rupture-prone, and ruptured plaques. Because most of the acute complications of atherosclerosis are the result of plaque rupture, CD40L inhibition might be a novel therapeutic approach to prevent atherosclerotic plaque destabilization and plaque rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in cardiovascular medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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