Temporal changes in mouse aortic wall gene expression during the development of elastase-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms

Sarah J. Van Vickle-Chavez, William S. Tung, Tarek S. Absi, Terri L. Ennis, Dongli Mao, J. Perren Cobb, Robert W. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize temporal changes in mouse aortic wall gene expression associated with the development of experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms. Methods: C57BL/6 mice underwent transient perfusion of the abdominal aorta with either elastase (n = 61) or heat-inactivated elastase as a control (n = 68). Triplicate samples of radiolabeled aortic wall complementary DNA were prepared at intervals of 0, 3, 7, 10, and 14 days, followed by hybridization to nylon microarrays (1181 genes). Autoradiographic intensity data were normalized by conversion to z scores, and differences in gene expression were defined by two-tailed z tests at a significance threshold of P < .01. Results: Elastase perfusion caused a progressive increase in aortic diameter up to 14 days accompanied by transmural inflammation and destructive remodeling of the elastic media. No aneurysms occurred in the control group. Compared with healthy aorta, 336 genes exhibited significant alterations during at least 1 interval after elastase perfusion (135 at more than 1 interval and 14 at all intervals), with pronounced increases for interleukin 6, cyclin E2, interleukin 1β, osteopontin, CD14/lipopolysaccharide receptor, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1, and gelatinase B/matrix metalloproteinase 9 (all >20-fold on day 3). Sixty-two genes exhibited synchronous alterations in the elastase and control groups, thus suggesting a nonspecific response. By direct comparisons between the elastase and control groups, there were 384 genes with significant differences in expression for at least 1 interval after aortic perfusion, including 234 with differential upregulation (eg, p44MAPK/ERK1, osteopontin, heat shock protein 84, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, apolipoprotein E, monocyte chemotactic protein 3, MIG (monokine induced by gamma interferon), and interleukin 2 receptor γ) and 163 with differential downregulation (eg, prothrombin, granzyme B, ataxia telangiectasia mutated, and interleukin-converting enzyme). Conclusions: Development of elastase-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms in mice is accompanied by altered aortic wall expression of genes associated with acute and chronic inflammation, matrix degradation, and vascular tissue remodeling. Knowledge of these alterations will facilitate further studies on the functional molecular mechanisms that underlie aneurysmal degeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1020
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Temporal changes in mouse aortic wall gene expression during the development of elastase-induced abdominal aortic aneurysms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this