Translational Relevance and Recent Advances of Animal Models of Abdominal Aortic AneurysmHighlights
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Human abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) pathophysiology is not yet completely understood. In conductance arteries, the insoluble extracellular matrix, synthesized by vascular smooth muscle cells, assumes the function of withstanding the intraluminal arterial blood pressure. Progressive loss of this function through extracellular matrix proteolysis is a main feature of AAAs. As most patients are now treated via endovascular approaches, surgical AAA specimens have become rare. Animal models provide valuable complementary insights into AAA pathophysiology. Current experimental AAA models involve induction of intraluminal dilation (nondissecting AAAs) or a contained intramural rupture (dissecting models). Although the ideal model should reproduce the histological characteristics and natural history of the human disease, none of the currently available animal models perfectly do so. Experimental models try to represent the main pathophysiological determinants of AAAs: genetic or acquired defects in extracellular matrix, loss of vascular smooth muscle cells, and innate or adaptive immune response. Nevertheless, most models are characterized by aneurysmal stabilization and healing after a few weeks because of cessation of the initial stimulus. Recent studies have focused on ways to optimize existing models to allow continuous aneurysmal growth. This review aims to discuss the relevance and recent advances of current animal AAA models.
Visual Overview—An online visual overview is available for this article.
- aneurysm, dissecting
- angiotensin II
- aortic aneurysm, abdominal
- calcium chloride
- pancreatic elastase
- Received July 3, 2016.
- Accepted December 21, 2016.
- © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.