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Serine protease inhibitor A3 in atherosclerosis and aneurysm disease

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Remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in both atherosclerosis and aneurysm disease. Serine protease inhibitor A3 (serpinA3) is an inhibitor of several proteases such as elastase, cathepsin G and chymase derived from mast cells and neutrophils. In this study, we investigated the putative role of serpinA3 in atherosclerosis and aneurysm formation. SerpinA3 was expressed in endothelial cells and medial smooth muscle cells in human atherosclerotic lesions and a 14-fold increased expression of serpinA3n mRNA was found in lesions from Apoe-/- mice compared to lesion-free vessels. In contrast, decreased mRNA expression (-80%) of serpinA3 was found in biopsies of human abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) compared to non-dilated aortas. Overexpression of serpinA3n in transgenic mice did not influence the development of atherosclerosis or CaCl2-induced aneurysm formation. In situ zymography analysis showed that the transgenic mice had lower cathepsin G and elastase activity, and more elastin in the aortas compared to wild-type mice, which could indicate a more stable aortic phenotype. Differential vascular expression of serpinA3 is clearly associated with human atherosclerosis and AAA but serpinA3 had no major effect on experimentally induced atherosclerosis or AAA development in mouse. However, serpinA3 may be involved in a phenotypic stabilization of the aorta.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 2: Vascular Surgery Section, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 3: Wihuri Research Institute, Helsinki, Finland 4: Clinical Physiology Unit, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 5: Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden 6: The Karolinska Center for Transgene Technologies, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2012-08-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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