Mechanisms of increased vascular stiffness down the aortic tree in aging, premenopausal female monkeys

Denis Babici, Raymond K. Kudej, Tara McNulty, Jie Zhang, Marko Oydanich, Tolga Berkman, Koichi Nishimura, Sanford P. Bishop, Dorothy E. Vatner, Stephen F. Vatner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mechanisms of increased vascular stiffness down the aortic tree in aging, premenopausal female monkeys. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 319: H222-H234, 2020. First published June 12, 2020; doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00153.2020.-Protection against increased vascular stiffness in young women is lost after menopause. However, little is known about vascular stiffness in older, premenopausal females, because most of the prior work has been conducted in rodents, which live for only 1-3 yr and do not go through menopause. The goal of the current investigation was to quantitate differences in stiffness down the aortic tree and the mechanisms mediating those differences in older, premenopausal (24 ± 0.7 yr) versus young adult (7 ± 0.7 yr) female nonhuman primates. Aortic stiffness (β), calculated from direct and continuous measurements of aortic diameter and pressure in chronically instrumented, conscious macaque monkeys, increased 2.5-fold in the thoracic aorta and fivefold in the abdominal aorta in old premenopausal monkeys. The aortic histological mechanisms mediating increased vascular stiffness, i.e., collagen/elastin ratio, elastin, and collagen disarray, and the number of breaks in elastin and collagen fibers were greater in the old premenopausal versus young monkeys and greater in the abdominal versus the thoracic aorta and greatest in the iliac artery. In addition, more immature and less cross-linked fibers of collagen were found in the aortas of young females. Aortic stiffness increased in old premenopausal female monkeys, more so in the abdominal aorta than in the thoracic aorta. Histological mechanisms mediating the increased aortic stiffness were augmented in the old premenopausal females, greater in the abdominal versus the thoracic aorta, and greatest in the iliac artery. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to examine vascular stiffness down the aortic tree in aging premenopausal females (24 ± 0.7 yr old), whereas prior work studied mainly rodents, which are short-lived and do not undergo menopause. Histological mechanisms mediating vascular stiffness in older premenopausal females increased progressively down the aortic tree, with greater increases in the abdominal aorta compared with the thoracic aorta and with the greatest increases and differences observed in the iliac artery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H222-H234
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume319
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Keywords

  • Extracellular disarray
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Old premenopausal females
  • Vascular stiffness

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