Abstract 18485: Runx2 Haploinsufficiency Attenuates Angiotensin II-mediated Fibrosis and Proliferation in Mouse Mitral Valves
We recently reported activation of TGF-β superfamily pathways and activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the pathogenesis of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), which may converge upon increased Runx2 expression. We also demonstrated that chronic in vivo administration of angiotensin II (AngII) recaptures various molecular aberrations characteristic of human disease -including increased TGF-β signaling and activation of Runx2- in mouse mitral valves. Here, we sought to determine whether Runx2 haploinsufficiency can attenuate molecular and/or phenotypic effects of AngII infusion in mouse mitral valves. We implanted littermate matched Runx2+/+ and Runx2+/- mice with osmotic minipumps delivering AngII (1000ng/kg/min) or saline for 2 weeks. We measured changes in mRNA (qRT-PCR) and protein (immunohistochemistry) levels in mitral valves, and assessed mitral valve function by echocardiography. In Runx2+/+ mice, AngII elicited increased mRNA levels of TGF-β3 and the TGF-β target COL3A1, and increased staining for canonical (p-SMAD2/3) and non-canonical (p-AKT) TGF-β signaling proteins. Runx2 haploinsufficiency attenuated AngII-induced changes in COL3A1 expression and p-AKT staining, without impacting AngII-mediated alterations in TGF-β3 and p-SMAD2/3. Evaluating collagen thickness by picrosirius red staining and visualization under circularly polarized light, AngII infusion in Runx2+/+ mice was associated with increased collagen density at the base of posterior mitral valve leaflets, a change that was abrogated by Runx2 haploinsufficiency. Similarly, Runx2-haploinsufficiency was again protective when examining mRNA and protein levels of the proliferation marker KI67 in response to AngII. Echocardiography identified a trend towards increased mitral valve regurgitation following AngII infusion that was unaltered by Runx2 haploinsuffiency. Collectively, these data suggest that increases in Runx2 expression in the mitral valve may serve to orchestrate tissue fibrosis and cellular proliferation that are hallmarks of MMVD, and that future pharmacological strategies aimed at reducing activity of Runx2 in the mitral valve may yield viable non-surgical alternatives for the management of this condition.
Author Disclosures: N.M. Thalji: None. M.A. Hagler: None. G. Casaclang-Verzosa: None. B. Zhang: None. R.M. Suri: None. J.D. Miller: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.