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J Immunol. 2018 Mar 1;200(5):1829-1838. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601386. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

The Complement C3a-C3aR Axis Promotes Development of Thoracic Aortic Dissection via Regulation of MMP2 Expression.

Author information

1
Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, The Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases, Ministry of Education, Beijing Collaborative Innovative Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing 100029, China.
2
Department of Pathology, Aviation General Hospital of China Medical University, Beijing 100012, China.
3
Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100010, China; and.
4
Department of Pharmacology and Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
5
Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases, The Key Laboratory of Remodeling-Related Cardiovascular Diseases, Ministry of Education, Beijing Collaborative Innovative Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, Beijing 100029, China; jiedu@yahoo.com.

Abstract

Thoracic aortic dissection (TAD), once ruptured, is devastating to patients, and no effective pharmaceutical therapy is available. Anaphylatoxins released by complement activation are involved in a variety of diseases. However, the role of the complement system in TAD is unknown. We found that plasma levels of C3a, C4a, and C5a were significantly increased in patients with TAD. Elevated circulating C3a levels were also detected in the developmental process of mouse TAD, which was induced by β-aminopropionitrile monofumarate (BAPN) treatment, with enhanced expression of C1q and properdin in mouse dissected aortas. These findings indicated activation of classical and alternative complement pathways. Further, expression of C3aR was obviously increased in smooth muscle cells of human and mouse dissected aortas, and knockout of C3aR notably inhibited BAPN-induced formation and rupture of TAD in mice. C3aR antagonist administered pre- and post-BAPN treatment attenuated the development of TAD. We found that C3aR knockout decreased matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) expression in BAPN-treated mice. Additionally, recombinant C3a stimulation enhanced MMP2 expression and activation in smooth muscle cells that were subjected to mechanical stretch. Finally, we generated MMP2-knockdown mice by in vivo MMP2 short hairpin RNA delivery using recombinant adeno-associated virus and found that MMP2 deficiency significantly reduced the formation of TAD. Therefore, our study suggests that the C3a-C3aR axis contributes to the development of TAD via regulation of MMP2 expression. Targeting the C3a-C3aR axis may represent a strategy for inhibiting the formation of TAD.

PMID:
29367209
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.1601386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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