Massive B-Cell Infiltration and Organization Into Artery Tertiary Lymphoid Organs in the Aorta of Large Vessel Giant Cell Arteritis

Graver, J. C., Boots, A. M. H., Haacke, E. A., Diepstra, A., Brouwer, E. & Sandovici, M., 29-Jan-2019, In : Frontiers in Immunology. 10, p. 83 8 p., 83.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Giant cell arteritis (GCA) can be classified into Cranial(C)-GCA and Large Vessel(LV)-GCA. Based on analysis of temporal arteries, GCA is postulated to be T-cell-mediated. Recently, a disturbed B-cell homeostasis was documented in newly diagnosed GCA patients. In the current study, we assessed the presence of B-cells and their level of ectopic organization in the aorta of LV-GCA patients. Aorta tissue samples of 9 histologically-proven LV-GCA patients and 22 age-and sex-matched atherosclerosis patients who underwent aortic aneurysm surgery were studied by immunohistochemistry. Sections were stained for B-cells, T-cells, follicular dendritic cells, high endothelial venules, germinal center B-cells, proliferating B-cells, macrophages, and plasma cells. Aortas of LV-GCA patients showed massive infiltration of B-cells, which clearly outnumbered T-cells, as opposed to C-GCA patients where, as previously reported, T-cells outnumber B-cells. B-cells were mainly found in the adventitia of the vessel wall and were organized into artery tertiary lymphoid organs. These tertiary lymphoid organs had germinal centers, proliferating B-cells and plasma cell niches. In conclusion, we found massive and organized B-cell infiltrates in the aorta of LV-GCA patients, which is in line with the previously documented decrease of circulating B-cells in active GCA. Our data indicate a role for B-cells in the pathogenesis of GCA and thus evoke further investigation into the factors determining the tissue tropism and organization of B-cells in GCA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Pages (from-to)83
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 29-Jan-2019


  • giant cell arteritis, B-cell, tertiary lymphoid organs, aorta, plasma cells, WALLS

View graph of relations

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 75514244