Member Listing

Name

Meritxell Nus Chimeno

Affiliation

Department of Medicine

Title

Dr

Role

Principal Investigator

Research Summary

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.

Expertise

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Immunology, Other

Selected Publications

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.
2. Nus M, Sage AP, LuY, Masters L, LamBYH, NewlandS, TsiantoulasD, RaffortJ, Finigan A, KittL, FiggN, SchirmbeckR, KneillingM, YeoGSH, BinderC, de la PompaJL, Mallat Z. Marginal zone B cells control follicular helper T cell response to high cholesterol diet. Nat Med 2017; 23(5):601-10.
3. Sage AP, Nus M, Bagchi Chakraborty J, Tsiantoulas D, Newland SA, Finigan AJ, Masters L, Binder CJ, MAllat Z. X-box Binding Protein-1 dependent plasma cell responses limit the developement of aterosclerosis. Circ Res 2017; 121:270-281.
4. Nus M, Martínez-Poveda B, Macgrogan D, Chevre R, D´Amato G, Sbroggio M, Rodriguez C, Martínez-Gonzalez J, Vicente A, Hidalgo A, de la Pompa JL. Endothelial Notch signaling is required for the NF-kB driven inflammatory response in atherosclerosis. Cardiovasc Res 2016; 112:568-580.
5. Sage AP, Nus M, Baker L, Finigan A, Masters L, Mallat Z. Regulatory B cell-specific interleukin-10 is dispensable for atherosclerosis development in mice. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2015;35:1770-3.
6. Nus M, MacGrogan D, Martínez-Poveda B, Benito Y, Casanova JC, Fernández-Avilés F, Bermejo J, de la Pompa JL. Diet-induced aortic valve disease in mice haploinsufficient for the Notch pathway effector RBPJK/CSL. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2011; 31:1580-8

Other field of expertise

Cardiovascular diseases, Diet, Gut microbiota