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Information about the tissue characteristics of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), some of which may be reflected in the serum, can help to elucidate AAA pathogenesis and identify new AAA biomarkers. This information would be beneficial not only for diagnostics and follow-up but also for potential therapeutic intervention. Therefore, the aim of our study was to compare the expression of structural proteins, immune factors (T and B lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils and pentraxin 3 (PTX3)), osteoprotegerin (OPG), microvessels and hypoxic cells in AAA and nonaneurysmal aortic walls. We examined specimens collected during surgery for AAA repair (n = 39) and from the abdominal aortas of kidney donors without AAA (n = 8). Using histochemical and immunohistochemical methods, we quantified the areas positive for smooth muscle actin, desmin, elastin, collagen, OPG, CD3, CD20, MAC387, myeloperoxidase, PTX3, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha and the density of CD31-positive microvessels. AAA samples contained significantly less actin, desmin, elastin and OPG, more collagen, macrophages, neutrophils, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, hypoxic cells and PTX3, and a greater density of vasa vasorum (VV) than those in non-AAA samples. Hypoxia positively correlated with actin and negatively correlated with collagen. Microvascular density was related to inflammatory cell infiltrates, hypoxia, PTX3 expression and AAA diameter. The lower OPG expression in AAAs supports the notion of its protective role in AAA remodeling. AAA contained altered amounts of structural proteins, implying reduced vascular elasticity. PTX3 was upregulated in AAA and colocalized with inflammatory infiltrates. This evidence supports further evaluation of PTX3 as a candidate marker of AAA. The presence of aortic hypoxia, despite hypervascularization, suggests that hypoxia-induced neoangiogenesis may play a role in AAA pathogenesis. VV angiogenesis of the AAA wall increases its vulnerability.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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A protrusion of abdominal structures through the retaining ABDOMINAL WALL. It involves two parts: an opening in the abdominal wall, and a hernia sac consisting of PERITONEUM and abdominal contents. Abdominal hernias include groin hernia (HERNIA, FEMORAL; HERNIA, INGUINAL) and VENTRAL HERNIA.
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