CD4+ CD28 null T cells in coronary artery disease: when helpers become killers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


  • Ingrid Dumitriu
  • Ernesto Trallero Araguás
  • Christina Baboonian
  • Juan Carlos Kaski

Colleges, School and Institutes


The crucial role of T cells in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD) has been highlighted by recent observations. Helper CD4(+) T cells can both aggravate or attenuate the atherogenic process and the development of CAD. CD4(+)CD28(null) T cells are an unusual subset of helper cells which expand and have deleterious effects in CAD. In this review, we discuss the current issues on the generation of CD4(+)CD28(null) T cells and focus on their phenotypic and functional characteristics relevant to the development of cardiovascular events. The possible effects of the present day therapies for CAD on the CD4(+)CD28(null) T cells are also explored. Targeting the CD4(+)CD28(null) T cell subset in CAD could provide novel therapeutic strategies to prevent acute life-threatening coronary events.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-9
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Animals, Autoimmune Diseases/pathology, CD28 Antigens/genetics, Coronary Artery Disease/drug therapy, Coronary Vessels/pathology, Disease Models, Animal, Humans, T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology, Thrombosis/pathology