Elevated Protein Kinase C-δ Contributes to Aneurysm Pathogenesis Through Stimulation of Apoptosis and Inflammatory Signaling
Objective—Apoptosis of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is a prominent pathological characteristic of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We have previously shown that SMC apoptosis stimulates proinflammatory signaling in a mouse model of AAA. Here, we test whether protein kinase C-δ (PKCδ), an apoptotic mediator, participates in the pathogenesis of AAA by regulating apoptosis and proinflammatory signals.
Methods and Results—Mouse experimental AAA is induced by perivascular administration of CaCl2. Mice deficient in PKCδ exhibit a profound reduction in aneurysmal expansion, SMC apoptosis, and transmural inflammation as compared with wild-type littermates. Delivery of PKCδ to the aortic wall of PKCδ–/– mice restores aneurysm, whereas overexpression of a dominant negative PKCδ mutant in the aorta of wild-type mice attenuates aneurysm. In vitro, PKCδ–/– aortic SMCs exhibit significantly impaired monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 production. Ectopic administration of recombinant monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 to the arterial wall of PKCδ–/– mice restores inflammatory response and aneurysm development.
Conclusion—PKCδ is an important signaling mediator for SMC apoptosis and inflammation in a mouse model of AAA. By stimulating monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression in aortic SMCs, upregulated PKCδ exacerbates the inflammatory process, in turn perpetuating elastin degradation and aneurysmal dilatation. Inhibition of PKCδ may serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for AAA.
- Received February 4, 2012.
- Accepted July 30, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.