Background: Aging-associated changes in the cardiovascular system increase the risk for disease development and lead to profound alterations in vascular reactivity and stiffness. Elucidating the molecular response of arteries to injury and age will help understand the exaggerated remodeling of aging vessels. Methodology/Principal Findings: We studied the gene expression profile in a model of mechanical vascular injury in the iliac artery of aging (22 months old) and young rats (4 months old). We investigated aging-related variations in gene expression at 30 min, 3 d and 7 d post injury. We found that the Myosin Light Chain gene (MYL9) was the only gene differentially expressed in the aged versus young injured arteries at all time points studied, peaking at day 3 after injury (4.6 fold upregulation (p<0.05) in the smooth muscle cell layers. We confirmed this finding on an aging aortic microarray experiment available through NCBI's GEO database. We found that Myl9 was consistently upregulated with age in healthy rat aortas. To determine the arterial localization of Myl9 with age and injury, we performed immunohistochemistry for Myl9 in rat iliac arteries and found that in healthy and injured (30 days post injury) arteries, Myl9 expression increased with age in the endothelial layers. Conclusions/Significance: The consistent upregulation of the myosin light chain protein (Myl9) with age and injury in arterial tissue draws attention to the increased vascular permeability and to the age-caused predisposition to arterial constriction after balloon angioplasty.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)