Deregulation of Notch1 pathway and circulating endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) number in patients with bicuspid aortic valve with and without ascending aorta aneurysm

Carmela R Balistreri, Floriana Crapanzano, Leonardo Schirone, Alberto Allegra, Calogera Pisano, Giovanni Ruvolo, Maurizio Forte, Ernesto Greco, Elena Cavarretta, Antonino G M Marullo, Sebastiano Sciarretta, Giacomo Frati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is frequently associated with the development of ascending aortic aneurysm, even if the underlying mechanisms remain to be clarified. Here, we investigated if a deregulation of Notch1 signaling pathway and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) number is associated with BAV disease and an early ascending aortic aneurysm (AAA) onset. For this purpose, 70 subjects with BAV (M/F 50/20; mean age: 58.8 ± 14.8 years) and 70 subjects with tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) (M/F 35/35; mean age: 69.1 ± 12.8 years) and AAA complicated or not, were included. Interestingly, patients with AAA showed a significant increase in circulating Notch1 levels and EPC number than subjects without AAA. However, circulating Notch1 levels and EPC number were significantly lower in BAV subjects than TAV patients either in the presence or absence of AAA. Finally, Notch pathway was activated to a greater extent in aortic aneurysmatic portions with respect to healthy aortic fragments in both BAV and TAV patients. However, the expression of genes encoding components and ligands of Notch pathway in aortic tissues was significantly lower in BAV than TAV subjects. Our study demonstrates that BAV subjects are characterized by a significant decrease in both tissue and circulating levels of Notch pathway, and in blood EPC number than TAV patients, either in presence or absence of AAA disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13834
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 14 2018

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