Abstract W P365: Critical Role of Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotypic Modulation in Cerebral Aneurysm Formation and Rupture
Objective: Little is known about smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotypic modulation in the cerebral circulation or pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms. TNF-α has been associated with aneurysms, but a direct role has not been established.
Methods: Cultured cerebral SMC were treated with TNF-α for PCR, western blot, chromatin immune-precipitation (CHIP), and adenovirus promoter transfection. In vivo experiments were carried out in the following models: application of TNF-α to the surface of carotid arteries, cerebral model of hypertension and hemodynamic stress, and cerebral model of aneurysm formation and rupture. The TNF-α inhibitor 3,6’dithiothalidomide (DTH) was synthesized.
Results: Cultured cerebral SMC over-expressing myocardin induced expression of key SMC contractile genes (SM-α-actin, SM-22α, SM-MHC), while dominant negative suppressed expression. TNF-α treatment inhibited this contractile phenotype and induced pro-inflammatory genes (MCP-1, MMPs, VCAM-1, IL-1β). TNF-α increased expression of KLF4 and KLF4 siRNA abrogated TNF-α induced phentotypic modulation. These mechanisms were confirmed in vivo following exposure of rat carotid arteries to TNF-α and early in a model of cerebral hypertension and hemodynamic stress prior to cerebral aneurysm formation. Treatment with DTH reversed these pathological vessel wall alterations. TNF-α knock-out mice and DTH pre-treatment decreased the incidence of aneurysm formation and rupture. As compared with sham mice, TNF-α expression was not significantly different in TNF-α knock-out mice or those pre-treated with DTH, but was elevated in unruptured and ruptured aneurysms. Initiation of DTH 7 days after aneurysm induction did not alter aneurysm incidence, but resulted in stabilization and decreased rupture. CHIP assays in vivo and in vitro demonstrated that TNF-α promotes epigenetic changes through KLF4 dependent alterations in promoter regions of myocardin, SMC’s, and inflammatory genes.
Conclusion: TNF-α induces phenotypic modulation of cerebral SMC through myocardin and KLF4 regulated pathways. These results demonstrate a novel role for TNF-α in promoting a pro-inflammatory phenotype. These data suggests a critical role of TNF-α in the formation and rupture of aneurysms.
Author Disclosures: R.M. Starke: None. M.S. Ali: None. N. Chalouhi: None. P.M. Jabbour: None. S.I. Tjoumakaris: None. L. Gonzalez: None. R.H. Rosenwasser: None. D. Hasan: None. T. Hashimoto: None. N.H. Greig: None. G.K. Owens: None. A.S. Dumont: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.