Aortic valve mechanobiology - the effect of cyclic stretch
MetadataShow full item record
Aortic valve disease is among the third most common cardiovascular disease worldwide, and is also a strong predictor for other cardiac related deaths. Altered mechanical forces are believed to cause changes in aortic valve biosynthetic activity, eventually leading to valve disease, however little is known about the cellular and molecular events involved in these processes. To gain a fundamental understanding into aortic valve disease mechanobiology, an ex vivo experimental model was used to study the effects of normal and elevated cyclic stretch on aortic valve remodeling and degenerative disease. The hypothesis of this proposal was that elevated cyclic stretch will result in increased expression of markers related to degenerative valve disease. Three aspects of aortic valve disease were studied: (i) Altered extracellular matrix remodeling; (ii) Aortic Valve Calcification; and (iii) Serotonin-induced valvulopathy. Results showed that elevated stretch resulted in increased matrix remodeling and calcification via a bone morphogenic protein-dependent pathway. In addition, elevated stretch and serotonin resulted in increased collagen biosynthesis and tissue stiffness via a serotonin-2A receptor-mediated pathway. This work adds to current knowledge on aortic valve disease mechanisms, and could pave the way for the development of novel treatments for valve disease and for the design of tissue engineered valve constructs.