IMR Press / FBL / Volume 29 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbl2902064
Open Access Original Research
Immune Response Associated Gene Signatures in Aortic Dissection Compared to Aortic Aneurysm
Show Less
1 Division of Pathophysiology, Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical Faculty, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4020 Linz, Austria
2 Experimental Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Gynaecological Endocrinology, Kepler University Hospital Linz, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4020 Linz, Austria
3 Clinical Research Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, Medical Faculty, Johannes Kepler University Linz, 4020 Linz, Austria
*Correspondence: (Christian Doppler)
These authors contributed equally.
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2024, 29(2), 64;
Submitted: 2 November 2023 | Revised: 4 December 2023 | Accepted: 25 December 2023 | Published: 6 February 2024
Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: Thoracic aortic dissections (TAD) are life-threatening events mostly requiring immediate surgical treatment. Although dissections mainly occur independently of thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA), both share a high comorbidity. There are several indications for an involvement of the immune system in the development of TAD, just as in TAA. Nevertheless, specific disease-relevant genes, biomolecular processes, and immune-specific phenotypes remain unknown. Methods: RNA from isolated aortic smooth muscle cells from TAD (n = 4), TAA (n = 3), and control patients were analyzed using microarray-based technologies. Additionally, three publicly available bulk RNA-seq studies of TAD (n = 23) and controls (n = 17) and one single-cell RNA-seq study of TAA (n = 8) and controls (n = 3) were analyzed. Differentially expressed genes were identified and used to identify affected pathways in TAD. Five selected genes were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: We identified 37 genes that were significantly dysregulated in at least three TAD studies—24 of them were not shown to be associated with TAD, yet. Gene ontology analysis showed that immune response was significantly affected. Five of the genes (CCL2, RNASE2, HAVCR2, CXCL8, and IL6R) were revealed as core genes that affect immune response in TAD. We compared the gene expression of those genes to TAA and found that CXCL8, IL6R, and potentially also CCL2 were upregulated in TAD. Conclusions: The identified immune-related genes showed TAD-specificity, independent of possible pre-existing comorbidities like TAA. So, these genes represent potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets linked to the immune response in acute TAD. Additionally, we identified a set of differentially expressed genes that represents a resource for further studies.

immune response
aortic aneurysm
aortic dissection
Johannes Kepler Open Access Publishing Fund
Fig. 1.
Back to top