Aortic remodeling is modest and sex-independent in mice when hypertension is superimposed on aging

B. Spronck*, J. Ferruzzi, C. Bellini, A.W. Caulk, S.I. Murtada, J.D. Humphrey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Increased central artery stiffness associates with cardiovascular disease. Among other factors, hypertension and aging are strong contributors to central artery stiffening, yet it has been difficult to separate their effects. Herein, we study isolated and combined effects of hypertension and aging on central artery remodeling in multiple mouse models as a function of sex. Methods: We biomechanically phenotyped the aorta as a function of two different methods of inducing hypertension [infusion of angiotensin II (AngII) or combining a high salt diet with inhibition of endothelial-derived nitric oxide synthase usingl-NAME] in male and female wild-type and fibulin-5 null mice, the latter of which models aspects of aortic aging. Results: Despite increasing blood pressure similarly, salt + l-NAME led to adaptive and maladaptive remodeling in the abdominal and thoracic aorta, respectively, whereas AngII caused luminal dilatation but little remodeling of the wall. Importantly, effects of aging were more dramatic than those resulting from induced hypertension and, consequently, superimposing hypertension on aging led to modest additional changes in luminal radius and wall thickness, though wall stress and stiffness increased mainly because of the elevated pressure. Conclusion: Our results suggest that effects of hypertension on aortic remodeling are modest when superimposed on aging in mice, largely independent of sex. These findings are consistent with general observations in humans and in spontaneously hypertensive rats, though separated here for the first time in a rodent model characterized by a severe loss of elastic fiber integrity similar to that found in the aged human aorta.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1321
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • angiotensin
  • aorta
  • arterial stiffness
  • fibulin-5
  • hallmarks
  • mouse
  • nitric oxide synthase
  • pressure-dependence
  • pulse-wave velocity
  • salt
  • stiffness
  • wall
  • WALL


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