Abstract 458: Loss of Smooth Muscle α-actin in Mice Results in Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms via Increased Reactive Oxygen Species, Increased Nox4,and Increased Angiotensin II type 1 Receptor-Mediated Signaling
Objective: ACTA2 mutations cause 10-14% of familial thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections. Mice deficient in smooth muscle α-actin (Acta2-/-) develop root and ascending thoracic aortic enlargement associated with thickening of the aortic media and fragmentation and disarray of elastic fibers. We hypothesized that blocking AT1 activation would block the aortic pathology and prevent aortic enlargement in Acta2-/- mice.
Methods and Results: Beginning at 4 weeks of age, Acta2-/- mice were treated with losartan or placebo (n≥10) for 6 months and echocardiograms were performed at baseline and every other month. The aortic root in Acta2-/- mice was found to undergo progressive dilatation. After 6 months of treatment, there was no difference in the diameter of the aortic root between wild-type (WT) mice and the losartan treated mice (p=0.44). Histologic analysis of Acta2-/- aortas demonstrated medial thickening and fragmentation of elastic fibers which was normalized by treatment with losartan. Gene expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 (Mmp2, Mmp9), along with lumican and decorin, interleukin-6 (Il6) and phosphorylation of RelA (a subunit of nuclear factor κB, NF-κB) was increased in Acta2-/- aortas, and was corrected by treatment with losartan. NADPH oxidase 4 and AT1a mRNA was increased in Acta2-/- aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and aortas. Increase of AT1a was blocked by lowering reactive oxygen species (ROS) with N-actetyl cysteine (NAC). Angiotensin II (AngII) dose response studies suggested Acta2-/- aortic SMCs had increased sensitivity to Ang II. Additionally, Acta2-/- SMCs had increased ROS compared to WT by flow cytometry (P<0.05). Increased ROS was also observed in aortic samples derived from Acta2-/- mice. Blocking ROS using NAC attenuated aneurysm formation by reducing the expression of Mmps and IL6 and reducing signaling through AT1 in Acta2-/- mice. Genetic deletion of AT1a attenuated ROS and expression of Mmps and IL6 levels in the Acta2-/-aortas but not to WT levels.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that complete loss of α-SMA leads to aortic dilation and pathologic changes by increasing SMC ROS levels, thus increasing sensitivity to AngII, which results in NF-κB activation and increased expression of Mmps and IL6.
Author Disclosures: J. Chen: None. C. Kwartler: None. C.L. Papke: None. A. Peters: None. L. Ringuette: None. J. Cao: None. S. Wang: None. C. Villamizar: None. K.L. Byanova: None. R. Madonna: None. P. Kee: None. Y. Geng: None. A.R. Brasier: None. E.C. Davis: None. S. Prakash: None. D.M. Milewicz: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.