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Regulation of the vascular gap junctions in a mouse model of intimal hyperplasia
Titre de la conférence
99th Annual Congress of the Swiss Society of Surgery
Davos, Switzerland, June 20-22, 2012
Date de publication
Britische Journal of Surgery
Document Type: Meeting Abstract
Objective: Intimal hyperplasia (IH) is one of the leading causes of failure¦after vascular interventions. It involves the proliferation of smooth muscle¦cells (SMCs) and the production of extracellular fibrous matrix. Gap junctional¦communication, mediated by membrane connexins (Cx), participates to the¦control of proliferation and migration. In human and mice vessels, endothelial¦cells (ECs) express Cx37, Cx40 and Cx43, whereas SMCs are coupled by Cx43.¦We previously reported that Cx43 was increased in the SMCs of a human vein¦during the development of IH.¦In our experimental model of mice carotid artery ligation (CAL), luminal¦narrowing occurred by SMCs-rich neointima after 2-4 weeks of ligation.¦This experimental model of mice allows us to decipher the regulation of the¦cardiovascular connexins in the mouse.¦Methods: C57BL/6 mice were anesthetized and the left common carotid artery¦was dissected through a neck incision and ligated near the carotid bifurcation.¦The mice were then euthanized at 7, 14 and 28 days. Morphometric analyses¦were then performed with measurements of total area, lumen and intimal area¦and media thickness. Western blots, immunocytochemistry and quantitative¦RT-PCR were performed for Cx43, Cx40 and Cx37.¦Results: All animals recovered with no symptom of stroke. Morphometric¦analysis demonstrated that carotid ligation resulted in an initial increase (after¦7 days) of the total vessel area followed by its reduction (after 28 days). This¦phenomena was associated with a progressive increase in the intimal area and a¦consecutive decrease of the lumen. The media thickness was also increased after¦14 and 28 days. This neointima formation was associated to a marked increase¦in the expression of Cx43 at both protein and RNA levels. Concomitantly,¦Cx40 and Cx37 protein expression were reduced in the endothelium. This was¦confirmed by en face analyses showing reduced Cx37 and Cx40 levels in the¦endothelial cells covering the lesion.¦Conclusion: This study assessed the regulation of the cardiovascular connexins¦in the development of IH. This model will allow us to characterize the¦involvement of gap junctions in the IH. In turn, this understanding is¦instrumental for the development of new therapeutical tools, as well as for¦the evaluation of the effects of drugs and gene therapies of this disease for which¦there is no efficient therapy available.
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