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MicroCT imaging reveals differential 3D micro-scale remodelling of the murine aorta in ageing and Marfan syndrome

DOI: 10.7150/thno.26598 DOI Help

Authors: Julia Lopez-guimet (Universitat de Barcelona) , Lucía Peña-pérez (Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Karolinska Institute) , Robert S. Bradley (University of Manchester; Geotek Ltd) , Patricia García-canadilla (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) , Catherine Disney (University of Manchester) , Hua Geng (University of Manchester) , Andrew J. Bodey (Diamond Light Source) , Philip J. Withers (University of Manchester) , Bart Bijnens (Universitat Pompeu Fabra; ICREA) , Michael J. Sherratt (University of Manchester) , Gustavo Egea (Universitat de Barcelona; Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS); Institut de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (IN2UB), Universitat de Barcelona)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Theranostics , VOL 8 , PAGES 6038-6052

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2018

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Aortic wall remodelling is a key feature of both ageing and genetic connective tissue diseases, which are associated with vasculopathies such as Marfan syndrome (MFS). Although the aorta is a 3D structure, little attention has been paid to volumetric assessment, primarily due to the limitations of conventional imaging techniques. Phase-contrast microCT is an emerging imaging technique, which is able to resolve the 3D micro-scale structure of large samples without the need for staining or sectioning. Methods: Here, we have used synchrotron-based phase-contrast microCT to image aortae of wild type (WT) and MFS Fbn1C1039G/+ mice aged 3, 6 and 9 months old (n=5). We have also developed a new computational approach to automatically measure key histological parameters. Results: This analysis revealed that WT mice undergo age-dependent aortic remodelling characterised by increases in ascending aorta diameter, tunica media thickness and cross-sectional area. The MFS aortic wall was subject to comparable remodelling, but the magnitudes of the changes were significantly exacerbated, particularly in 9 month-old MFS mice with ascending aorta wall dilations. Moreover, this morphological remodelling in MFS aorta included internal elastic lamina surface breaks that extended throughout the MFS ascending aorta and were already evident in animals who had not yet developed aneurysms. Conclusions: Our 3D microCT study of the sub-micron wall structure of whole, intact aorta reveals that histological remodelling of the tunica media in MFS could be viewed as an accelerated ageing process, and that phase-contrast microCT combined with computational image analysis allows the visualisation and quantification of 3D morphological remodelling in large volumes of unstained vascular tissues.

Journal Keywords: Marfan syndrome; microCT; aorta; ageing; elastic lamella

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials
Collaborations: Diamond Manchester

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging

Documents:
v08p6038.pdf