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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 841472, 13 pages
Research Article

Atorvastatin Improves Inflammatory Response in Atherosclerosis by Upregulating the Expression of GARP

Department of Cardiology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

Received 6 January 2015; Revised 25 March 2015; Accepted 13 April 2015

Academic Editor: Donna-Marie McCafferty

Copyright © 2015 Xiaoqi Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Regulatory T cells play an important role in the progression of atherosclerosis. GARP is a newly biological membrane molecule existed on activated Tregs, which is related to the release of TGF-β. The antiatherosclerosis effects of statins partly depend on their multiple immune modulatory potencies. In this paper, we present that atorvastatin could upregulate the expression of GARP and TGF-β in CD4+ T cells and increase the numbers of CD4+LAP+ and CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in ApoE−/− mice. Also, we indicate that atorvastatin promotes the aggregation of GARP+ and Foxp3+ cells and secretory of the TGF-β1 in atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, we prove that atorvastatin could delay the procession of atherosclerosis and improve the stability of atherosclerotic plaques. Interestingly, we report that inhibition of GARP distinctly inhibits the anti-inflammatory effects of atorvastatin. We conclude that atorvastatin improves the inflammatory response in atherosclerosis partly by upregulating the expression of GARP on regulatory T cells.