Background - Arteries and veins are exposed to different pressures and are easily distinguished by morphology. Although several recent studies have focused on differential gene expression between the arterial and venous endothelium, the molecular distinctions that give rise to the dramatic structural distinctions between arteries and veins, such as in the organization of the intima, are not known. Methods and Results - We used high-density oligonucleotide arrays to analyze the transcriptional profile of the mouse aorta and inferior vena cava (IVC), not restricting our analysis to the endothelium, to identify genes whose expression was enriched in aorta over other tissues and the IVC. By quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis, these genes have been shown to be highly expressed in the mouse aorta and were either expressed at low levels or were undetectable in the murine IVC. By immunofluorescence analysis of human tissue, we determined that a subset of these aorta-enriched proteins exhibited a primarily intima-restricted expression. Intimal expression of at least a subset of these genes, plakoglobin, galectin 7, sciellin, and SPRR3, was also detected in other types of arteries but not in veins. Furthermore, SPRR3 expression in the intima was primarily associated with atheromas. The proteins identified are functionally related in that they are known to also be enriched in stratified epithelia, where they play an important role in stress-bearing and barrier properties. Conclusions - Vascular expression of these genes has not been reported previously. Our observations suggest that they may play a significant role in the mechanisms by which large arteries may adapt to biomechanical stress.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - May 10 2005|
- Blood flow