Abstract 3718: MMP-12 Inhibitor Reduces Severity of ANGII-induced Aortic Abdominal Aneurysms in apoE−/− Mice
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an inflammatory disorder characterized by local connective tissue degradation, macrophage recruitment and infiltration leading to aortic dilation and rupture. Aneurysms of the abdominal aorta represent a significant cardiovascular risk for which inflammation plays an integral role in the defined pathology. Genetic ablation of metalloprotease-12 (MMP-12) eliminates metalloelastase activity and attenuates aneurysm formation in apoE−/− mice. In the current study, a selective MMP-12 inhibitor, WAY-644 was evaluated in the well-established murine model of ANGII-induced aneurysm formation. This inhibitor displays activity for murine MMP-12, IC50 = 6.3 nM by FRET analysis, with low crossreactivity for other MMPs (exception MMP-8), and has established in vivo efficacy in inflammation models. Coadministration of WAY-644 to hyperlipidemic apoE−/− mice during ANGII infusion (1.44 mg/kg) for 28d alters the severity of AngII-induced AAAs as measured by changes in abdominal aortic wet weights and typical AAA classification. As expected, plasma MMP-12 protease activity measured by FRET analysis was inhibited. RNA profiling of abdominal aortic aneurysm tissue characterizes ANGII-induced AAA expansion driven by macrophage infiltration, destructive MMP production and attenuation by MMP-12 inhibition. The transcription of a subset of proinflammatory genes activated with ANGII treatment was repressed by the inhibitor. These genes include quantitative markers of macrophage accumulation in the vessel wall, CD68, MCP1/CCL2, CCR2, MMP-12, and Csf1. Associated reductions in gene markers for inflammation and oxidative stress, ie., heme oxidase (HO), nitric oxide synthase (nos2), Ikbkb, and Stat3 also correlate with MMP-12 antagonism. These changes occur in the absence of lipid changes (TC or TG), or quantitative changes in aortic arch lesions in the ANGII-infused animals. The findings support a mechanism whereby MMP-12 metalloelastase inactivation reduces macrophage recruitment to aneurysmal lesion sites, to lessen activated-macrophage expression of proinflammatory cytokines that figure prominently in vascular wall destruction and the pathogenesis of AAAs.