Genetic and Pharmacologic Disruption of Interleukin-1β Signaling Inhibits Experimental Aortic Aneurysm Formation
Objective—Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are common, but their exact pathogenesis remains unknown and no specific medical therapies are available. We sought to evaluate interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R) in an experimental AAA model to identify novel therapeutic targets for AAA treatment.
Methods and Results—IL-1β mRNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in abdominal aortas of 8- to 12-week-old male C57Bl/6 mice after elastase aortic perfusion (wild-type [WT]) compared with saline perfusion. Mice with genetic deletion of IL-1β (IL-1β knockout [KO]) or IL-1R (IL-1R KO) that underwent elastase perfusion demonstrated significant protection against AAA formation, with maximal aortic dilations of 38.0±5.5% for IL-1β KO and 52.5±4.6% for IL-1R KO compared with 89.4±4.0% for WT mice (P<0.005). Correspondingly, IL-1β KO and IL-1R KO aortas had reduced macrophage and neutrophil staining with greater elastin preservation compared with WT. In WT mice pretreated with escalating doses of the IL-1R antagonist anakinra, there was a dose-dependent decrease in maximal aortic dilation (R=–0.676; P<0.0005). Increasing anakinra doses correlated with decreasing macrophage staining and elastin fragmentation. Lastly, WT mice treated with anakinra 3 or 7 days after AAA initiation with elastase demonstrated significant protection against AAA progression and had decreased aortic dilation compared with control mice.
Conclusion—IL-1β is critical for AAA initiation and progression, and IL-1β neutralization through genetic deletion or receptor antagonism attenuates experimental AAA formation. Disrupting IL-1β signaling offers a novel pathway for AAA treatment.
- Received September 6, 2012.
- Accepted November 26, 2012.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.