Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is characterized by dilation of the aorta that can lead to dissection or rupture. Degradation of elastic fibers is a consistent histopathological feature of TAA that likely contributes to disease progression. Pentagalloyl glucose (PGG) shows promise for stabilizing elastic fibers in abdominal aortic aneurysms, but its efficacy and mechanical effects in the thoracic aorta are unknown. We simulated TAAs using elastase (ELA) to degrade elastic fibers in the mouse ascending aorta and determined the preventative and restorative potential of PGG. Biaxial mechanical tests, constitutive model fitting, and multiphoton imaging were performed on untreated (UNT), PGG, ELA, PGG + ELA, and ELA + PGG treated aortas. PGG treatment alone does not significantly alter mechanical properties or wall structure compared to UNT. ELA treatment alone causes an increase in the unloaded diameter and length, decreased compliance, significant changes in the material constants, and separation of the outer layers of the aortic wall compared to UNT. PGG treatment before or after ELA ameliorates the mechanical and structural changes associated with elastic fiber degradation, with preventative PGG treatment being most effective. These results suggest that PGG is a potential pharmaceutical option to stabilize elastic fibers in TAA.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm