Arterial injury results in the formation of neointimal lesions. Lack of resolution of the pathologic neointima leads to stenosis, tissue ischemia, and organ dysfunction. In this issue of the JCI, Kovacic et al. show that, in response to arterial injury in mice, the cytokine TNF-α triggers a novel signaling pathway involving the combinatorial action of two transcription factors, STAT3 and NF-κB (p65 subunit), in VSMCs (see the related article beginning on page 303). Upon activation, these factors turn on transcription of a potent T cell chemokine, RANTES, which selectively recruits T cells into the vessel wall as part of the vascular wound–healing response.
Timothy Hla, Myat Lin Oo