Vascular wall remodeling in patients with supravalvular aortic stenosis and Williams Beuren syndrome

J Vasc Res. 2005 May-Jun;42(3):190-201. doi: 10.1159/000085141. Epub 2005 Apr 12.


Supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS) and Williams Beuren syndrome (WBS) can be considered as inherited diseases affecting the whole arterial tree and causing narrowing of the vessels. It has been reported that abnormal deposition of elastin in arterial walls of patients with SVAS and WBS leads to increased proliferation of arterial smooth muscle cells (SMC), which result in the formation of hyperplastic intimal lesions. In this work, we conducted morphological and morphometrical analysis with stenotic aortas from patients suffering from SVAS and WBS and from healthy control subjects and demonstrated that the amount of elastic fibers and the loss of integrity of vascular elastic fibers in the aortas reflect similar changes in the skin of patients with SVAS or WBS, as reported in our previous work conducted on skin in these pathological states. On the other hand, we conducted investigations on metalloproteinases (MMP2, MMP9, MMP7) and their specific tissue inhibitors TIMP1 and TIMP2 to verify their possible involvement in the etiopathogeny of SVAS and WBS. We particularly evidenced an altered MMP9/TIMP1 balance in favor of matrix degradation which could facilitate SMC migration and neointimal hyperplasia. Our findings suggest that elastinolytic enzymes secreted by arterial SMC, possibly including matrilysin 1, are critical for the development of arterial lesions in SVAS and WBS and contribute to perpetuate arterial stenosis in either SVAS or WBS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aorta / physiopathology*
  • Aortic Stenosis, Supravalvular / pathology
  • Aortic Stenosis, Supravalvular / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Metalloproteases / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1 / metabolism
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2 / metabolism
  • Williams Syndrome / pathology
  • Williams Syndrome / physiopathology*


  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-1
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2
  • Metalloproteases