DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18831 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 18831: The Protective Effect of Duffy Antigen Receptor for Chemokines Gene Deletion on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Formation: Role of Lysyl Oxidase

Ghaith Aboud, Ragheb Harb, David Kim, Brandee Goo, Mourad OGBI, Praneet Veerapaneni, Ronnie Chouhaita, Philip Coffey, Richard Lee, Tyler W Benson, Phillip P Owens, Vladimir Bogdanov, Avirup Guha, Hong Shi, Ha Won Kim, Neal L Weintraub
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Epidemiologic studies indicate that Blacks are protected against abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), despite similar risk factors as Caucasians. Approximately 70% of Blacks harbor a variant in the Duffy Antigen Receptor for Chemokines (DARC), a non-signaling receptor expressed primarily on erythrocytes which binds and regulates inflammatory chemokines. Since chemokines play a critical role in AAA, we tested the hypothesis that lack of DARC expression on erythrocytes protects against AAA, and we investigated the mechanisms.

Methods: Mice lacking DARC on hematopoietic cells were created by mating DARC flox/flox mice with Vav1-Cre mice. At 10-14 weeks of age, both Vav1-Cre positive (DARC HKO ) and Vav1-Cre - mice [wild type (WT) littermate controls] received PCSK9 adeno-associated virus injection and were started on high fat diet. After 1 week, mice were infused with angiotensin II (AngII, 1,000 ng/kg/min) via osmotic minipump for 26 days to induce AAA.

Results: Compared to WT, there was no difference in blood pressure or cholesterol levels in AngII-infused DARC HKO mice, which were confirmed to lack DARC on erythrocytes by flow cytometry. Aortic diameter and AAA incidence were significantly decreased in DARC HKO compared to WT mice (n=16-20, p=0.0257), in conjunction with reduced elastin degradation and macrophage infiltration. We did not find differences in levels of DARC-bound chemokines that could account for the protection against AAA. Interestingly, we found that the level and activity of lysyl oxidase (LOX), a cytokine-like enzyme that crosslinks extracellular matrix proteins and protects against AAA, were higher in DARC HKO mice compared to WT mice.

Conclusions: Loss of DARC on hematopoietic cells protects against AAA formation, likely by upregulating aortic LOX. These findings provide novel insight into ethnic differences in susceptibility to AAA.

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