, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 6225-6231
Date: 01 Jul 2014

The role of cystatin C in vascular remodeling of balloon-injured abdominal aorta of rabbits

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Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the role of cystatin C (CysC) in the vascular remodeling of balloon-injured abdominal aorta of rabbits. Forty-eight New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into three groups: the balloon-injured injury group (n = 16), the CysC monoclonal antibody group (n = 16), and the sham-operative group (n = 16). Serum CysC levels were detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Changes in adventitial area, adventitial thickness, lumen area (LA), neointimal area (IA), internal elastic lamina area (IELA), external elastic lamina area (EELA), vascular remodeling index (VRI) and residual stenosis (RS) were measured by the Leica image analysis system. Immunohistochemical analysis of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were performed. Serum CysC levels of rabbits in the balloon-injured injury group were significantly higher than those in the CysC monoclonal antibody group and the sham-operative group (both P < 0.05). At 6 weeks after balloon injury, the adventitial area and thickness, LA, IA, IELA and EELA in the balloon-injured injury group were also higher than those in the CysC monoclonal antibody and sham-operative groups (all P < 0.05). In addition, the balloon-injured injury group showed higher VRI and RS than those of the CysC monoclonal antibody group (both P < 0.05). The positive expression of α-SMA in the vascular adventitia and media in the balloon-injured group were higher than that of the CysC monoclonal antibody and sham-operative groups. The balloon-injured group also showed a stronger expression of α-SMA in the neointima than that of the CysC monoclonal antibody group. There was a strong positive expression of PCNA in the vascular adventitia and neointima in the balloon-injured and CysC monoclonal antibody groups. However, the number of PCNA-positive cells in the balloon-injured group was higher than that of the CysC monoclonal antibody group (25.45 ± 4.21 vs. 6.75 ± 1.11, P = 0.003). Our findings provide empirical evidence that serum CysC levels may play an important role in the vascular remodeling of balloon-injured abdominal aorta of rabbits.