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Biros E.,James Cook University | Moran C.S.,James Cook University | Walker P.J.,University of Queensland | Cardinal J.,Pathology Queensland Chemical Pathology | Golledge J.,James Cook University
Clinical Science | Year: 2014

Current efforts to identify the genetic contribution to abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) have mainly focused on the assessment of germ-line variants such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms. The aim of the present study was to assess the presence of acquired chromosomal aberrations in human AAA. Microarray data of ten biopsies obtained from the site of main AAA dilatation (AAA body) and three control biopsies obtained from the macroscopically non-dilated neck of the AAA (AAA neck) were initially compared with identified chromosomal aneuploidies using the Chromosomal Aberration Region Miner (ChARM) software. A commonly deleted segment of chromosome bands 6 (q22.1-23.2) was predicted within AAA biopsies. This finding was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR)-based DNA copy number assessments of an independent set of six AAA body and neck biopsies which identified a fold copy number change (δKCt) of -1±0.35, suggesting the loss of one copy of the long interspersed nucleotide element type 1 (LINE-1) mapped to chromosome 6 (q22.1-23.2). The median relative genomic content of LINE-1 DNA was also reduced in AAA body compared with AAA neck biopsies (1.540 compared with 3.159; P=0.031). A gene important for vascular homoeostasis mapped to 6q23.1, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), was assessed and found to be significantly down-regulated within AAA bodies compared with AAA necks (0.261 compared with 0.627; P=0.031), as determined by reverse transcription qPCR using total RNA as a template. Histology demonstrated marked staining for macrophages within AAA body biopsies. We found in vitro that the median relative genomic content of LINE-1 DNA in aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (AoSMCs) exposed to pro-inflammatory medium was ~1.5 times greater than that measured in control AoSMCs exposed to non-conditioned medium (3.044 compared with 2.040; P=0.015). Our findings suggest that acquired chromosomal aberrations associated with retrotransposon propagation may predispose to sporadic AAA. © The Authors Journal compilation. © 2014 Biochemical Society.


Biros E.,James Cook University | Moran C.S.,James Cook University | Wang Y.,James Cook University | Walker P.J.,University of Queensland | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Science | Year: 2014

AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) is a potentially life-threatening late-onset degenerative condition. miRNAs (microRNAs), the small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression, have been shown previously to be associated with a broad range of human pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to identify AAA-associated miRNAs potentially contributing to AAA pathology. We analysed the expression of 124 miRNAs within AAA biopsies and serum of ten patients undergoing AAA repair, and serum from ten age- and sex-matched subjects without AAA, using the FlexmiRTM MicroRNA Assay. RNA extracted from the site of main AAA dilatation (AAA body) was compared with that extracted from the macroscopically non-dilated neck of the AAA (AAA neck). Similarly, RNA extracted from the serum of AAA patients (AAA serum) was compared with that extracted from age- and sex-matched controls (control serum). qPCR (quantitative real-time PCR), Western blot analysis and histology were performed using an independent set of six paired AAA body and neck biopsies to examine the validity of findings. Seven miRNAs were up-regulated [>2-fold difference, FDR (false discovery rate) <0.5] within AAA biopsies, of which miR-155 was the most differentially expressed (11.32-fold, FDR=0.414). This finding was confirmed by qPCR with the median relative expression of miR-155 being 3.26 and 0.63 within AAA body and AAA neck biopsies respectively (P=0.031). Circulating miR-155 was also increased in AAA patients compared with controls, with a 2.67-fold up-regulation at borderline significance (FDR=0.554). Two immunologically important miR-155 target genes, CTLA4 (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein) and SMAD2, were assessed and found to be significantly down-regulated within AAA bodies compared with AAA necks (P=0.032 and P=0.026) as determined by qPCR and Western blotting respectively. Histology demonstrated dense accumulation of T-lymphocytes within the adventitial and outer medial layers of AAA body, but not neck tissue. The results of the present study suggest that miR-155 is overexpressed in AAA with potential implications in the pathogenesis of the condition.

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