Meritxell Nus Chimeno
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide.
Atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries responsible for heart attack and stroke, is an inflammatory disease where both the innate and the adaptive immune response exert a prominent role. Atherosclerosis involves the accumulation of fatty deposits in the artery walls, which trigger a response from the immune defence system to promote healing. Unfortunately , the immune system over-reacts leading to unabated inflammation and disease progression.
We have recently discovered that the interaction of two specific adaptive immune players called Marginal Zone B cells and T follicular helper cells play a determinant role in atherosclerosis. In response to a high fat diet Marginal Zone B cells activate an homeostatic protective programme that it is translated into the modulation of T follicular helper cell activation and differentiation. We are currently elucidating how diet and gut microbiota modulate this Marginal Zone B-T follicular helper cells interaction and how this impacts on atherosclerosis. We are particularly interested in identifying the metabolic pathways that drive T follicular helper cells function during atherosclerosis.
1. Nus, M., Basatemur, G., Galan, M., Cros-Brunsó, L., Zhao, T., Masters, L., Harrison, J., et al. NR4A1 deletion in marginal zone B cells exacerbates atherosclerosis in mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2020.
|Other field of expertise||
Cardiovascular diseases, Diet, Gut microbiota