Dexamethasone attenuated thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection in vascular smooth muscle cell Tgfbr2-disrupted mice with CCL8 suppression

Xipeng Wang, Qingle Li, Wei Li, Tao Zhang, Xiaoyan Li, Yang Jiao, Xuemin Zhang, Jingjun Jiang, Xiaoping Zhang, Xiaoming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

New Findings: What is the central question of this study? What is the relationship of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 8 (CCL8) to thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (TAAD) formation in postnatal mice with vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) Tgfbr2 disruption, and is dexamethasone a potential treatment? What is the main finding and its importance? CCL8 was associated with the formation of TAAD in VSMC Tgfbr2-disrupted mice. Dexamethasone reduced TAAD formation and inhibited mitogen-activated protein kinase (p-p38) and nuclear factor-κB (p-p65) signalling pathways. CCL8 might be an important promoter of aortic inflammation. Dexamethasone provided potential therapeutic effects in TAAD treatment. Abstract: Aortic inflammation plays a vital role in initiation and progression of thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection (TAAD). Disturbance of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signalling pathway is believed to be one of the pathogenic mechanisms of TAAD. Initially, Myh11-CreERT2.Tgfbr2f/f male mice were used to build a TAAD mouse model, and bioinformatic analyses revealed enriched inflammatory signal pathways and upregulated chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 8 (CCL8). So we hypothesized that vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) Tgfbr2 disruption in postnatal mice results in aortic inflammation associated with CCL8 secretion. Real-time quantitative PCR and serum enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results confirmed that CCL8 expression began to increase after VSMC Tgfbr2 disruption. Next, we cultured mouse thoracic aortas ex vivo, and observed that the protein expression of CCL8 in culture supernatants was increased by ELISA. Subsequently, the co-localization of CCL8 with α-smooth muscle actin or CD68 was found to be significantly increased by immunofluorescence. Then, dexamethasone (DEX) was used to treat TAAD in VSMC Tgfbr2-disrupted mice; the results of histochemical, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical staining indicated that DEX therapy reduced CCL8 secretion, inflammatory cell recruitment, aortic medial thickening, elastic fibre fragmentation, extracellular matrix degradation and contractile apparatus impairment, and thereby ameliorated TAAD formation. Western blotting showed that mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-κB signalling pathways in aorta were overactivated after VSMC Tgfbr2 disruption, but inhibited by DEX therapy. Altogether, CCL8 might be an important promoter in TAAD formation of VSMC Tgfbr2-disrupted mice, and DEX provided potential therapeutic effects in TAAD treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-645
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume107
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CCL8
  • dexamethasone
  • extracellular matrix
  • inflammatory cell
  • thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection
  • transforming growth factor-β type II receptor

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