OBJECTIVE-: Even though elastin and fibrillin-1 are the major structural components of elastic fibers, mutations in elastin and fibrillin-1 lead to narrowing of large arteries in supravascular aortic stenosis and dilation of the ascending aorta in Marfan syndrome, respectively. A genetic approach was therefore used here to distinguish the differential contributions of elastin and fibrillin-1 to arterial development and compliance. METHODS AND RESULTS-: Key parameters of cardiovascular function were compared among adult mice haploinsufficient for elastin (Eln), fibrillin-1 (Fbn1), or both proteins (dHet). Physiological and morphological comparisons correlate elastin haploinsufficiency with increased blood pressure and vessel length and tortuosity in dHet mice, and fibrillin-1 haploinsufficiency with increased aortic diameter in the same mutant animals. Mechanical tests confirm that elastin and fibrillin-1 impart elastic recoil and tensile strength to the aortic wall, respectively. Additional ex vivo analyses demonstrate additive and overlapping contributions of elastin and fibrillin-1 to the material properties of vascular tissues. Lastly, light and electron microscopy evidence implicates fibrillin-1 in the hypertension-promoted remodeling of the elastin-deficient aorta. CONCLUSIONS-: These results demonstrate that elastin and fibrillin-1 have both differential and complementary roles in arterial wall formation and function, and advance our knowledge of the structural determinants of vascular physiology and disease.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology|
|State||Published - Dec 2009|
- Marfan syndrome