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Physiol Genomics. 2011 Jun 28;43(12):781-8. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00151.2010. Epub 2011 Apr 19.

Gene expression differences in healthy brachial and femoral arteries of Rapacz familial hypercholesterolemic swine.

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Departments of Health and Kinesiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.


The mechanisms underlying the unequal distribution of atherosclerotic disease in the peripheral arteries are currently unclear. Gene expression differences in healthy arteries may influence the heterogeneous distribution of atherosclerosis. Therefore, this investigation compares gene expression in healthy atheroprotected brachial and atherosusceptible femoral arteries of young and disease free Rapacz familial hypercholesterolemic (FHC) swine. We hypothesized that transcripts related to atherosusceptibility would be differentially expressed between these arteries prior to the onset of disease. Femoral and brachial arteries were harvested from four 13-day-old Rapacz FHC swine. No atherosclerotic disease was detected using Sudan IV, Verhoeff-van Gieson, and hematoxylin-eosin staining. Gene expression was quantified using Affymetrix GeneChip Porcine Genome Arrays. An average of 15,552 probe sets had detectable transcripts, while 430 probe sets showed a significant differential expression between arteries (false discovery rate < 0.05). The human orthologs of 63 probe sets with differential expression and a 1.5-fold or greater transcript abundance between arteries are associated with Wnt/β-catenin, lysophospholipid, and Ca-signaling, as well as apoptosis. This is the first investigation reporting that differences in relative abundance of gene expression exist between brachial and femoral arteries in young Rapacz FHC swine prior to the development of atherosclerotic lesions.

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