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Regulation of PDE5 expression in human aorta and thoracic aortic aneurysms

  • Autori: Cesarini, V.; Pisano, C.; Rossi, G.; Balistreri, C.; Botti, F.; Antonelli, G.; Ruvolo, G.; Jannini, E.; Dolci, S.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Aneurysms and dissections affecting thoracic aorta are associated with smooth muscle cell (SMC) dysfunction. NO/cGMP signaling pathway in smooth muscle cells has been shown to be affected in sporadic thoracic aortic aneurysms. We analyzed the mRNA levels of PDE5, a cGMP-hydrolyzing enzyme highly expressed in aortic SMCs, that regulates arterious vascular tone by lowering cGMP levels. We found that aortic tissue obtained from Marfan, tricuspid and bicuspid thoracic aneurysms expressed lower levels of PDE5 mRNA compared to control aortas. In particular, we found that affected aortas showed lower levels of all the PDE5A isoforms, compared to control aortas. Transfection of vascular SMCs (VSMCs) with NOTCH3 activated domain (NICD3) induced the expression of PDE5A1 and A3 protein isoforms, but not that of the corresponding mRNAs. VSMC stimulation with GSNO, a nitric oxide analogue or with 8-br-cGMP, but not with 8-br-cAMP, up-regulated PDE5 and NOTCH-3 protein levels, indicating a negative feedback loop to protect the arterial wall from excessive relaxation. Finally, we found that PDE5 is expressed early during human aorta development, suggesting that if loss of function mutations of PDE5 occur, they might potentially affect aortic wall development.