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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vascular dysfunctions in the isolated aorta of double-transgenic hypertensive mice developing aortic aneurysm.

  • Author(s): Waeckel, Ludovic
  • Badier-Commander, Cécile
  • Damery, Thibaut
  • Köhler, Ralf
  • Sansilvestri-Morel, Patricia
  • Simonet, Serge
  • Vayssettes-Courchay, Christine
  • Wulff, Heike
  • Félétou, Michel
  • et al.

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Angiotensin-II and oxidative stress are involved in the genesis of aortic aneurysms, a phenomenon exacerbated by endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) deletion or uncoupling. The purpose of this work was to study the endothelial function in wild-type C57BL/6 (BL) and transgenic mice expressing the h-angiotensinogen and h-renin genes (AR) subjected to either a control, or a high-salt diet plus a treatment with a NO-synthase inhibitor, N-ω-nitro-L-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME; BLSL and ARSL). BLSL showed a moderate increase in blood pressure, while ARSL became severely hypertensive. Seventy-five percent of ARSL developed aortic aneurysms, characterized by major histo-morphological changes and associated with an increase in NADP(H) oxidase-2 (NOX2) expression. Contractile responses (KCl, norepinephrine, U-46619) were similar in the four groups of mice, and relaxations were not affected in BLSL and AR. However, in ARSL, endothelium-dependent relaxations (acetylcholine, UK-14304) were significantly reduced, and this dysfunction was similar in aortae without or with aneurysms. The endothelial impairment was unaffected by catalase, superoxide-dismutase mimetic, radical scavengers, cyclooxygenase inhibition, or TP-receptor blockade and could not be attributed to sGC oxidation. Thus, ARSL is a severe hypertension model developing aortic aneurysm. A vascular dysfunction, involving both endothelial (reduced role of NO) and smooth muscle cells, precedes aneurysms formation and, paradoxically, does not appear to involve oxidative stress.

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