The VEGFA156b isoform is dysregulated in senescent endothelial cells and may be associated with prevalent and incident coronary heart disease

Clin Sci (Lond). 2018 Feb 2;132(3):313-325. doi: 10.1042/CS20171556. Print 2018 Feb 14.


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of morbidity in people over 65 years of age; >40% of all deaths are due to this condition. The association between increasing age and CHD is well documented; the accumulation of senescent cells in cardiac and vascular tissues may represent one factor underpinning this observation. We aimed to identify senescence-related expression changes in primary human senescent cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells and to relate transcript expression in peripheral blood leucocytes to prevalent and incident CHD in the InCHIANTI study of aging. We quantified splicing factor expression and splicing patterns of candidate transcripts in proliferative and senescent later passage endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes using qRTPCR. Senescence-associated isoforms also expressed in peripheral blood leucocytes were then examined for associations with CHD status in 134 pairs of age, sex and BMI-matched CHD cases and controls. Splicing factor expression was dysregulated in senescent cardiomyocytes, as previously reported for endothelial cells, as was the expression of alternatively expressed cardiac and vascular candidate genes in both cell types. We found nominal associations between the expression of VEGFA156b and FNI-EIIIIA isoforms in peripheral blood mRNA and CHD status. Dysregulated splicing factor expression is a key feature of senescent cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells. Altered splicing of key cardiac or endothelial genes may contribute to the risk of CHD in the human population.

Keywords: aging; alternative splicing; coronary artery disease; senescence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / genetics
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / genetics*
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics*


  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A