Journal Article

Is apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells involved in the development of Takayasu arteritis? Suggestions from a case report

B. Bertipaglia, E. Faggin, U. Cillo, G. Zanus, A. Angelini and P. Pauletto

in Rheumatology

Volume 44, issue 4, pages 484-487
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 1462-0324
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1462-0332 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keh515
Is apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells involved in the development of Takayasu arteritis? Suggestions from a case report

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Objectives. We report a female patient suffering from Takayasu arteritis (TA) who underwent surgical revascularization.

Methods. By studying specimens obtained at surgery, we evaluated the cell composition of the arterial wall, along with the maturation pattern of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) during the active phase of TA. Using TUNEL, we detected apoptotic cells within the tunica media.

Results. The highest percentage of apoptotic cells was found in areas where inflammatory infiltrate was present and the medial structure was more or less damaged. Apoptotic cells were also found in structurally preserved areas, where VSMC but not inflammatory cells were present.

Conclusions. Apoptosis involved not only inflammatory cells but also VSMC, particularly those of the immature type. We hypothesize a role for VSMC apoptosis in the development of TA.

Keywords: Takayasu arteritis; Apoptosis; VSMC

Journal Article.  1658 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Rheumatology

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