Project description:Hypercholesterolemia and hypertension are associated with aortic valve stenosis (AVS) in humans. We have examined aortic valve function, structure, and gene expression in hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice.Control, hypertensive, hypercholesterolemic (Apoe(-/-)), and hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice were studied. Severe aortic stenosis (echocardiography) occurred only in hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice. There was minimal calcification of the aortic valve. Several structural changes were identified at the base of the valve. The intercusp raphe (or seam between leaflets) was longer in hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice than in other mice, and collagen fibers at the base of the leaflets were reoriented to form a mesh. In hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice, the cusps were asymmetrical, which may contribute to changes that produce AVS. RNA sequencing was used to identify molecular targets during the developmental phase of stenosis. Genes related to the structure of the valve were identified, which differentially expressed before fibrotic AVS developed. Both RNA and protein of a profibrotic molecule, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, were increased greatly in hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice.Hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice are the first model of fibrotic AVS. Hypercholesterolemic/hypertensive mice develop severe AVS in the absence of significant calcification, a feature that resembles AVS in children and some adults. Structural changes at the base of the valve leaflets include lengthening of the raphe, remodeling of collagen, and asymmetry of the leaflets. Genes were identified that may contribute to the development of fibrotic AVS.
Project description:We compared 15 severely diseased aortic valve sample to 16 control aortic valve samples using microRNA microarrays (Affymetrix GeneChip miRNA 2.0). The diseased samples were taken from areas of severe disease of aortic valves removed at aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis. Control samples were obtained from macroscopically normal post-mortem aortic valves. In addition, we compared areas of mild or moderate disease on valves from participants with severe aortic stenosis to the same participant's severely diseased sample in seven participants.
Project description:Aortic valve stenosis (AVS), a consequence of increased fibrosis and calcification of the aortic valve leaflets, causes progressive narrowing of the aortic valve. Proteoglycans, structural components of the aortic valve, accumulate in regions with fibrosis and moderate calcification. Particularly, proteoglycan 4 (PRG4) has been identified in fibrotic parts of aortic valves. However, the role of PRG4 in the context of AVS and aortic valve calcification has not yet been determined. Here, transcriptomics, histology, and immunohistochemistry were performed in human aortic valves from patients undergoing aortic valve replacement. Human valve interstitial cells (VICs) were used for calcification experiments and RNA expression analysis. PRG4 was significantly upregulated in thickened and calcified regions of aortic valves compared with healthy regions. In addition, mRNA levels of PRG4 positively associated with mRNA for proteins involved in cardiovascular calcification. Treatment of VICs with recombinant human PRG4 enhanced phosphate-induced calcification and increased the mRNA expression of bone morphogenetic protein 2 and the runt-related transcription factor 2. In summary, PRG4 was upregulated in the development of AVS and promoted VIC osteogenic differentiation and calcification. These results suggest that an altered valve leaflet proteoglycan composition may play a role in the progression of AVS.
Project description:Calcific aortic stenosis (CAS) is a pathological condition of the aortic valve characterized by dystrophic calcification of the valve leaflets. Despite the high prevalence and mortality associated with CAS, little is known about its pathogenetic mechanisms. Characterized by progressive dystrophic calcification of the valve leaflets, the early stages of aortic valve degeneration are similar to the active inflammatory process of atherosclerosis including endothelial disruption, inflammatory cell infiltration, lipid deposition, neo-vascularization and calcification. In the vascular system, the endothelium is an important regulator of physiological and pathological conditions; however, the contribution of endothelial dysfunction to valvular degeneration at the cellular and molecular level has received little attention. Endothelial cell (EC) activation and neo-vascularization of the cusps characterizes all stages of aortic valvular degeneration from aortic sclerosis to aortic stenosis. Here we reported the role of osteopontin (OPN) in the regulation of EC activation in vitro and in excised tissue from CAS patients and controls. OPN is an important pro-angiogenic factor in several pathologies. High levels of OPN have been demonstrated in both tissue and plasma of patients with aortic valve sclerosis and stenosis. The characterization of valvular ECs as a cellular target for OPN will help us uncover the pathogenesis of aortic valve degeneration and stenosis, opening new perspectives for the prevention and therapy of this prevalent disease.
Project description:Calcific aortic valve disease is the most common form of valvular heart disease in the Western World. Milder degrees of aortic valve calcification is called aortic sclerosis and severe calcification with impaired leaflet motion is called aortic stenosis. We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression underlying cdevelopment of calcified aortic valve disease in humans. Overall design: Human aortic valves from during different stages of develoment of calcified aortic valve disease (normal, sclerotic, calcified) was selected for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays. All the patients were male.
Project description:IMPORTANCE:Plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been associated with aortic stenosis in observational studies; however, randomized trials with cholesterol-lowering therapies in individuals with established valve disease have failed to demonstrate reduced disease progression. OBJECTIVE:To evaluate whether genetic data are consistent with an association between LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), or triglycerides (TG) and aortic valve disease. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:Using a Mendelian randomization study design, we evaluated whether weighted genetic risk scores (GRSs), a measure of the genetic predisposition to elevations in plasma lipids, constructed using single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified in genome-wide association studies for plasma lipids, were associated with aortic valve disease. We included community-based cohorts participating in the CHARGE consortium (n?=?6942), including the Framingham Heart Study (cohort inception to last follow-up: 1971-2013; n?=?1295), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (2000-2012; n?=?2527), Age Gene/Environment Study-Reykjavik (2000-2012; n?=?3120), and the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS, 1991-2010; n?=?28,461). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:Aortic valve calcium quantified by computed tomography in CHARGE and incident aortic stenosis in the MDCS. RESULTS:The prevalence of aortic valve calcium across the 3 CHARGE cohorts was 32% (n?=?2245). In the MDCS, over a median follow-up time of 16.1 years, aortic stenosis developed in 17 per 1000 participants (n?=?473) and aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis occurred in 7 per 1000 (n?=?205). Plasma LDL-C, but not HDL-C or TG, was significantly associated with incident aortic stenosis (hazard ratio [HR] per mmol/L, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.04-1.57; P?=?.02; aortic stenosis incidence: 1.3% and 2.4% in lowest and highest LDL-C quartiles, respectively). The LDL-C GRS, but not HDL-C or TG GRS, was significantly associated with presence of aortic valve calcium in CHARGE (odds ratio [OR] per GRS increment, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.09-1.74; P?=?.007) and with incident aortic stenosis in MDCS (HR per GRS increment, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.22-6.37; P?=?.02; aortic stenosis incidence: 1.9% and 2.6% in lowest and highest GRS quartiles, respectively). In sensitivity analyses excluding variants weakly associated with HDL-C or TG, the LDL-C GRS remained associated with aortic valve calcium (P?=?.03) and aortic stenosis (P?=?.009). In instrumental variable analysis, LDL-C was associated with an increase in the risk of incident aortic stenosis (HR per mmol/L, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.07-2.14; P?=?.02). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:Genetic predisposition to elevated LDL-C was associated with presence of aortic valve calcium and incidence of aortic stenosis, providing evidence supportive of a causal association between LDL-C and aortic valve disease. Whether earlier intervention to reduce LDL-C could prevent aortic valve disease merits further investigation.
Project description:Aortic stenosis has been shown to share the same risk factors as atherosclerosis which suggested a potential benefit from statins therapy. Fourteen studies which provided the effect of statins treatment on aortic stenosis (AS) were meta-analyzed, including 5 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 9 observational studies. In the RCTs, statins did not have any influence on peak aortic valve velocity, peak valve gradient, mean valve gradient, aortic valve area and aortic calcification compared to controls. In the observational studies, the peak valve velocity, peak gradient and aortic valve area showed less progression in the statins group compared to controls. This article describes data related article title "The effect of statins on valve function and calcification in aortic stenosis: a meta-analysis" (Zhao et al., 2016) .
Project description:Background:Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease that frequently remains undiagnosed until late in the disease course. In patients that present with symptoms of heart failure and a systolic murmur at a young age, a congenital valvular abnormality must be on the differential. With patients that have accelerated symptoms of aortic stenosis and valvular dysfunction, a unicuspid aortic valve (UAV) could be present. A UAV is often difficult to distinguish from a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) on transthoracic echocardiography. In patients with congenital valvular abnormalities an ascending aortic aneurysm can also be present. Aortic stenosis changes the jet of fluid emerging from the aortic valve leading to an increased risk for aortic aneurysm dissection and rupture. The gold standard treatment for aortic stenosis secondary to a congenital valvular abnormality is valve replacement. A known risk of aortic valve replacement is conduction abnormalities. In this case, we present a patient with a unicuspid valve who postoperatively develops complete heart block leading to pacemaker implantation. Case summary:We present a case of a 46-year-old Caucasian male with no prior medical history who presented with progressively worsening exertional dyspnoea and palpitations for 7 months. Transthoracic echocardiogram showed a BAV, however, further work up confirmed a unicommissural aortic valve with severe aortic stenosis and moderate regurgitation along with an ascending aortic aneurysm. Aortic valve replacement and aortic aneurysm repair via the Bentall procedure was successfully completed with postoperative course being complicated by a complete heart block and subsequent permanent pacemaker placement. Discussion:When assessing patients with symptoms of heart failure with a systolic murmur that suggests aortic stenosis at a young age, a UAV must be kept on the differential. The symptoms of aortic stenosis and valvular dysfunction are accelerated in UAVs when compared with BAVs. Currently, the treatment for patients with congenital valvular abnormalities presenting with aortic stenosis is aortic valve replacement using traditional open surgery. A known sequelae of isolated aortic valve replacement is conduction abnormalities that can sometimes lead to permanent pacemaker placement. After the confirmation of unicuspid or bicuspid valve postoperatively, it is important to report any postoperative conduction abnormalities. This is because, currently, there is no literature that compares the incidence of conduction abnormalities after unicuspid replacement to that of other BAV syndromes.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Bicuspid aortic valve, characterized by valve malformation and risk for aortopathy, displays profound alteration in systolic aortic outflow and wall shear stress distribution. The present study performed 4-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging in patients with bicuspid aortic valve with right-left cusp fusion, focusing on the impact of valve function on hemodynamic status within the ascending aorta. METHODS:Four-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 50 subjects with right-left bicuspid aortic valve and 15 age- and aortic size-matched controls with tricuspid aortic valve. Patients with bicuspid aortic valve were categorized into 3 groups according to their aortic valve function as follows: bicuspid aortic valve with no more than mild aortic valve dysfunction (bicuspid aortic valve control, n = 20), bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortic insufficiency (n = 15), and bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortic stenosis (n = 15). RESULTS:All patients with right-left bicuspid aortic valve exhibited peak wall shear stress at the right-anterior position of the ascending aorta (bicuspid aortic valve vs trileaflet aortic valve at the right-anterior position: 0.91 ± 0.23 N/m2 vs 0.43 ± 0.12 N/m2, P < .001) with no distinct alteration between bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortic insufficiency and bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortic stenosis. The predominance of dilatation involving the tubular ascending aorta (82%, type 2 aortopathy) persisted, with or without valve dysfunction. Compared with bicuspid aortic valve control subjects, the bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortic insufficiency group displayed universally elevated wall shear stress (0.75 ± 0.12 N/m2 vs 0.57 ± 0.09 N/m2, P < .01) in the ascending aorta, which was associated with elevated cardiac stroke volume (P < .05). The bicuspid aortic valve with severe aortic stenosis group showed elevated flow eccentricity in the form of significantly increased standard deviation of circumferential wall shear stress, which correlated with markedly increased peak aortic valve velocity (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS:The location of peak aortic wall shear stress and type of aortopathy remained homogeneous among patients with right-left bicuspid aortic valve irrespective of valve dysfunction. Severe aortic insufficiency or stenosis resulted in further elevated aortic wall shear stress and exaggerated flow eccentricity.