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t-cells in "sterile" environments

Alec Redwood aredwood at cyllene.uwa.edu.au
Wed Nov 25 20:11:43 EST 1998

A question.

T-cells are oftern seen in atherosclerotic lesions, they are also seen,
to a lesser degree, in a process known as neo-intimal hyperplasia, which
is seen in patients following vein grafts.  There is some discussion
that T-cells in atherosclerotic lesions are seeing some pathogen
(although this is very debatable).  However to the best of my knowledge
there is no such evidence in neo-intimal hyperplasia (basically a
thickening of the blood vessel wall as a result of smooth muscle
proliferation).  Certain models in nude and immunosuppressed (t-cell
depleted or cylco A)  rats show that T-cells can either increase or
degrease neo-intimal hyperplasia.

The question...more of a discussion actually

What are they doing there?  There is no evidence of an Ag (could it be
self).  If they are just by standers why do they have an effect?  What
activates them to produce IFN-gamma (as some suggest)... no Ag (and
probably no second signal).  This seems to be a forgoten area as many
"healing" responses appear to have a T-cell component.  Why are they
there and how do they function...aparently outside their normal Ag
sepecific role...In fact do they function in this role, is it all

Any suggestions?

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