Background: We investigated the hypothesis that an antioxidant, Vitamin C, could attenuate abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) development in a rat model.
Methods: An AAA model induced by intraluminal infusion was created in 36 male Sprague Dawley rats, which were randomly distributed into three groups: Sham (saline infused, placebo treated), Control (elastase infused, placebo treated), and Vitamin C (elastase infused, vitamin C treated). Vitamin C and placebo were intraperitoneally injected, initiating 1 wk before the infusion and continuing throughout the study. The aortic dilatation ratio was measured, and aortic tissues were further examined using biochemical and histologic techniques.
Results: Vitamin C attenuated the development of AAA, decreasing maximal aortic diameter by 25.8% (P < 0.05) and preserving elastin lamellae (P < 0.05). Vitamin C also decreased 8-hydroxyguanine (a marker of oxidative damage to DNA) and 8-isoprostane content (a marker of oxidative stress) in aortic tissues (P < 0.05, respectively). The proteins of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, MMP-9, and interleukin 6 were markedly downregulated (P < 0.05, respectively), accompanied with notably reduced messenger RNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-α, MMP-2/9, and interleukin 1β (P < 0.05, respectively). However, messenger RNA of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-1 and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-2 were both significantly upregulated in Vitamin C group. Vitamin C treatment had no significant effect on systolic blood pressure (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Vitamin C attenuated AAA development in an elastase-induced rat model via crucial protective effect, which was mediated by an increased level of antioxidant in cooperation with preserving elastin lamellae, inhibiting matrix-degrading proteinases and suppressing inflammatory responses.
Keywords: Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Vitamin C.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.