Objective: Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the fibrillin-1 gene. Patients with MFS are at risk of aortic aneurysm formation and dissection. Usually, blood pressure-lowering drugs are used to reduce aortic events; however, this is not sufficient for most patients. In the aorta of smooth muscle cell-specific sirtuin-1-deficient mice, spontaneous aneurysm formation and senescence are observed. Resveratrol is known to enhance sirtuin-1 activity and to reduce senescence, which prompted us to investigate the effectiveness of resveratrol in inhibition of aortic dilatation in the Fbn1(C1039G/+) MFS mouse model.
Approach and results: Aortic senescence strongly correlates with aortic root dilatation rate in MFS mice. However, although resveratrol inhibits aortic dilatation, it only shows a trend toward reduced aortic senescence. Resveratrol enhances nuclear localization of sirtuin-1 in the vessel wall and, in contrast to losartan, does not affect leukocyte infiltration nor activation of SMAD2 and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2). Interestingly, specific sirtuin-1 activation (SRT1720) or inhibition (sirtinol) in MFS mice does not affect aortic root dilatation rate, although senescence is changed. Resveratrol reduces aortic elastin breaks and decreases micro-RNA-29b expression coinciding with enhanced antiapoptotic Bcl-2 expression and decreased number of terminal apoptotic cells. In cultured smooth muscle cells, the resveratrol effect on micro-RNA-29b downregulation is endothelial cell and nuclear factor κB-dependent.
Conclusions: Resveratrol inhibits aortic root dilatation in MFS mice by promoting elastin integrity and smooth muscle cell survival, involving downregulation of the aneurysm-related micro-RNA-29b in the aorta. On the basis of these data, resveratrol holds promise as a novel intervention strategy for patients with MFS.
Keywords: Marfan syndrome; aortic aneurysm; extracellular matrix; micro-RNAs; resveratrol; sirtuin-1.
© 2016 The Authors.