Title

Characterization of the inflammatory cells in ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms in patients with Marfan syndrome, familial thoracic aortic aneurysms, and sporadic aneurysms.

Publication Date

10-1-2008

Journal

The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to characterize the inflammatory infiltrate in ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm in patients with Marfan syndrome, familial thoracic aortic aneurysm, or nonfamilial thoracic aortic aneurysm.

BACKGROUND: Thoracic aortic aneurysms are associated with a pathologic lesion termed "medial degeneration," which is described as a noninflammatory lesion. Thoracic aortic aneurysms are a complication of Marfan syndrome and can be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner of familial thoracic aortic aneurysm.

METHODS: Full aortic segments were collected from patients undergoing elective repair with Marfan syndrome (n = 5), familial thoracic aortic aneurysm (n = 6), and thoracic aortic aneurysms (n = 9), along with control aortas (n = 5). Immunohistochemistry staining was performed using antibodies directed against markers of lymphocytes and macrophages. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed to quantify the expression level of the T-cell receptor beta-chain variable region gene.

RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry of thoracic aortic aneurysm aortas demonstrated that the media and adventitia from Marfan syndrome, familial thoracic aortic aneurysm, and sporadic cases had increased numbers of T lymphocytes and macrophages when compared with control aortas. The number of T cells and macrophages in the aortic media of the aneurysm correlated inversely with the patient's age at the time of prophylactic surgical repair of the aorta. T-cell receptor profiling indicated a similar clonal nature of the T cells in the aortic wall in a majority of aneurysms, whether the patient had Marfan syndrome, familial thoracic aortic aneurysm, or sporadic disease.

CONCLUSION: These results indicate that the infiltration of inflammatory cells contributes to the pathogenesis of thoracic aortic aneurysms. Superantigen-driven stimulation of T lymphocytes in the aortic tissues of patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms may contribute to the initial immune response.

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal, Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic, Biological Markers, Biopsy, Needle, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Case-Control Studies, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Marfan Syndrome, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, RNA, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Reference Values, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Sensitivity and Specificity, Statistics, Nonparametric, Tissue Culture Techniques, Transforming Growth Factor beta2, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1