Background: In animal models, flow-loading is a necessary and sufficient hemodynamic factor to express the Cerebral Aneurysm (CA) phenotype. Using a rat model, this study characterizes the molecular events that comprise the cerebral arterial response to flow-loading and reveals their significance relating to the CA phenotype.
Objective: To characterize the molecular events that underlie expansive remodeling of cerebral arteries in two genetically distinct inbred rat strains with differential susceptibility to flow-dependent cerebrovascular pathology.
Methods: Thirty-two rats underwent bilateral common carotid artery ligation (BCL) (n=16) or Sham Surgery (SS) (n=16). Nineteen days later, vertebrobasilar arteries were harvested, histologically examined and analyzed for mRNA and protein expression. Flow-induced changes in histology, mRNA and protein expression were compared between BCL and SS rats. Differences between aneurysm-prone (Long Evans, LE) and resistant (Brown Norway, BN) strains were evaluated.
Results: Basilar Artery (BA) medial thickness/luminal diameter ratio was significantly reduced in BCL rats, without significant differences between LE (2.02 fold) and BN (1.94 fold) rats. BCL significantly altered BA expression of mRNA and protein but did not affect blood pressure. Eight genes showed similarly large flow-induced expression changes in LE and BN rats. Twenty-six flow responsive genes showed differences in flow-induced expression between LE and BN rats. The Cthrc1, Gsta3, Tgfb3, Ldha, Myo1d, Ermn, PTHrp, Rgs16 and TRCCP genes showed the strongest flow responsive expression, with the largest difference between LE and BN rats.
Conclusions: Our study reveals specific molecular biological responses involved in flow-induced expansive remodeling of cerebral arteries that may influence differential expression of flowdependent cerebrovascular pathology.
Keywords: Animal models, cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular diseases, genetics, vascular remodeling, basilar Artery.
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