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Title: The role of endothelial cells in the regulation of the vascular response to Angiotensin II
Author: Fan, Lampson Min
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 4630
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Aortic dissection is a detrimental disease with a high mortality. However, the mechanisms regulating the susceptibility to aortic dissection remain unknown. We hypothesize that endothelial oxidative stress due to the activation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating Nox2 enzyme may play an important role in the development of aortic dissection. To investigate this, we generated transgenic mice (C57BL/6J background) with endothelial specific over-expression of Nox2 (Nox2 Tg) under the control of a tie-2 promoter. Expression of the human Nox2 transgene was confirmed by qRT-PCR to be found only in endothelial cells (EC) isolated from transgenic mice, and not in Wt EC or vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and macrophages isolated from either genotype. Wild-type (Wt) littermates and Nox2 Tg male mice (22-24 weeks old, n=11) were treated with saline or Ang II (1mg/kg/day) via subcutaneous mini-pump for 28 days. There was no significant difference in the pressor responses to Ang II between Wt and Nox2 Tg mice (Wt 121±7mmHg vs. Nox2-Tg 122±6mmHg). However, 5/11 Nox2 Tg mice developed aortic dissections compared to 0/11 Wt mice (P<0.05). Immunohistochemistry revealed significant increases in endothelial VCAM-1 expression, MMP activity and CD45+ inflammatory cell recruitment in the aortas of Nox2 Tg mice after 5 days of Ang II infusion. Inflammatory cell recruitment was confirmed by FACS analysis of cells from digested aortas (P<0.05). Explanted aortas from Nox2-Tg mice had significantly greater secreted pro-inflammatory cytokine, Cyclophilin A (CypA) both at baseline and after 5 days of Ang II infusion compared to Wt littermates. Compared to primary Wt EC and VSMC, Nox2-Tg primary EC, but not primary VSMC, had increased ROS production which was accompanied by increased endothelial CypA secretion and ERK1/2 activation. Furthermore, conditioned media from Nox2-Tg EC induced greater ERK1/2 phosphorylation compared to conditioned media from Wt controls. Knockdown of CypA from sEND.1 endothelial conditioned media by siRNA knockdown abolished VSMC Erk1/2 phosphorylation. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that a specific increase in endothelial ROS through the over-expression of Nox2 was sufficient to induce aortic dissection in response to Ang II stimulation. Endothelial secreted CypA could be the signalling mechanism by which increased endothelial ROS regulates the inflammatory response and the susceptibility to aortic dissection.
Supervisor: Channon, Keith Sponsor: British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease ; mouse model ; aortic dissection ; NADPH oxidase ; Nox 2 ; redox signalling