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research-article

Effects of Increased Arterial Stiffness on Atherosclerotic Plaque Amounts

[+] Author and Article Information
Kellie Stoka

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
kvstoka@gmail.com

Justine Maedeker

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
jmaedeker@gmail.com

L Bennett

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
ljbenn.lb@gmail.com

Siddharth Bhayani

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
sid.bhayani@gmail.com

William Gardner

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
wgardner6@gmail.com

Jesse Procknow

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
jdprocknow@gmail.com

Austin J Cocciolone

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
ajcoccio@wustl.edu

Tezin Walji

Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
tezin.walji@utsouthwestern.edu

Clarissa Craft

Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
clarissa.craft@wustl.edu

Jessica E. Wagenseil

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University, One Brookings Dr., CB 1185, St. Louis, MO 63130
jessica.wagenseil@wustl.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039175 History: Received October 27, 2017; Revised January 04, 2018

Abstract

Increased arterial stiffness is associated with atherosclerosis in humans, but there have been limited animal studies investigating the relationship between these factors. We bred elastin wildtype (Eln+/+) and heterozygous (Eln+/-) mice to apolipoprotein E wildtype (Apoe+/+) and knockout (Apoe-/-) mice and fed them normal (ND) or Western diet (WD) for 12 weeks. Eln+/- mice have increased arterial stiffness. Apoe-/- mice develop atherosclerosis on ND that is accelerated by WD. It has been reported that Apoe-/- mice have increased arterial stiffness and that the increased stiffness may play a role in atherosclerotic plaque progression. We found that Eln+/+Apoe-/- arterial stiffness is similar to Eln+/+Apoe+/+ mice at physiologic pressures, suggesting that changes in stiffness do not play a role in atherosclerotic plaque progression in Apoe-/- mice. We found that Eln+/-Apoe-/- mice have increased structural arterial stiffness compared to Eln+/+Apoe-/- mice, but they only have increased amounts of ascending aortic plaque on ND, not WD. The results suggest a change in atherosclerosis progression but not end stage disease in Eln+/-Apoe-/- mice due to increased arterial stiffness. Possible contributing factors include increased blood pressure and changes in circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL6) and transforming growth factor beta 1 that are also associated with Eln+/- genotype.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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