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Atherosclerosis. 2009 Jan;202(1):205-10. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.04.038. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

ACE and TGFBR1 genes interact in influencing the susceptibility to abdominal aortic aneurysm.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, University of Florence, Thrombosis Centre, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Florence, Italy.


A role of ACE I/D polymorphism in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) has been demonstrated, possibly due to the effect of angiotensin II on vascular tissue remodelling. Angiotensin II exerts profibrogenic effects through the local induction of TGF-beta. Dysregulated TGF-beta signalling may result from mutations in TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 genes, thus resulting in degenerative changes in the vessel wall. We performed a case-control study in order to investigate the role of TGFBR1 9A6A polymorphism as predisposing factor to AAA per se, and in the presence of ACE DD and AT1R 1166 CC genotypes in 201 AAA patients (mean age+/-S.D., 71.5+/-6.9) referred to the Unit of Vascular Surgery of the University of Florence, compared with 252 healthy controls (mean age+/-S.D., 70.6+/-8.6). A significant difference in genotype distribution and allele frequency between patients and controls was found for ACE, but not for AT1R and TGFBR1 polymorphisms. At univariate analysis a significant association between ACE DD, but not AT1R CC and TGFBR1 6A allele, and the susceptibility to the disease was found [ACE DD OR=1.86 (95% CI 1.26-2.76), p=0.002]. After adjustment for age, gender, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, and CAD, PAD and CVD, ACE DD genotype still affected the susceptibility to AAA [OR=2.13 (95% CI 1.06-4.28), p=0.03], and the contemporary presence of ACE DD genotype and TGFBR1 6A allele, increased the predisposition to the disease [OR=5.09 (95% CI 1.44-18.02), p=0.01]. This study, which demonstrates an interaction between ACE and TGFBR1 genes in predisposing to AAA, may provide further information on the mechanisms contributing to AAA susceptibility, and offer a topic for future larger studies.

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