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Long-term miR-29b suppression reduces aneurysm formation in a Marfan mouse model.

Abstract

Aortic root aneurysm formation and subsequent dissection and/or rupture remain the leading cause of death in patients with Marfan syndrome. Our laboratory has reported that miR-29b participates in aortic root/ascending aorta extracellular matrix remodeling during early aneurysm formation in Fbn1C1039G/+ Marfan mice. Herein, we sought to determine whether miR-29b suppression can reduce aneurysm formation long-term. Fbn1C1039G/+ Marfan mice were treated with retro-orbital LNA-anti-miR-29b inhibitor or scrambled-control-miR before aneurysms develop either (1) a single dose prenatally (pregnant Fbn1C1039G/+ mice at 14.5 days post-coitum) (n = 8-10, each group) or (2) postnatally every other week, from 2 to 22 weeks of age, and sacrificed at 24 weeks (n = 8-10, each group). To determine if miR-29b blockade was beneficial even after aneurysms develop, a third group of animals were treated every other week, starting at 8 weeks of age, until sacrificed (n = 4-6, each group). miR-29b inhibition resulted in aneurysm reduction, increased elastogenesis, decreased matrix metalloproteinase activity and decreased elastin breakdown. Prenatal LNA-anti-miR-29b inhibitor treatment decreased aneurysm formation up to age 32 weeks, whereas postnatal treatment was effective up to 16 weeks. miR-29b blockade did not slow aortic growth once aneurysms already developed. Systemic miR-29b inhibition significantly reduces aneurysm development long-term in a Marfan mouse model. Drug administration during aortic wall embryologic development appears fundamental. miR-29b suppression could be a potential therapeutic target for reducing aneurysm formation in Marfan syndrome patients.

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