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Étude du rôle des monocytes / macrophages et des micro-ARNs dans les anévrismes de l’aorte abdominale

Abstract : Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a major public health concern and is associated with extremely high rates of mortality in case of aortic rupture. AAA is most often associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk factors, except diabetes that may rather play a protective role in the disease. Even though several studies have highlighted an infiltration of macrophages and changes of the expression of micro-RNAs in the aneurysmal wall, their role in AAA is still not fully understood. While experimental animal models are very useful to address this question, none of them perfectly mimics human pathophysiology. We recently created a new murine model of AAA based on topic application of elastase on the aorta associated with systemic TGFβ neutralization which reproduces the main human features of AAA and leads to fatal aortic rupture. The aims of this study were: -1/ Characterize the phenotype of monocytes/ macrophages in this murine model of AAA. -2/ Study the expression of micro-RNAs in this model. -3/ As the mechanisms involved in the negative association between diabetes and AAA are still poorly known, the third goal was to mount a clinical study to compare the expression of micro-RNAs between diabetic and non-diabetic patients with AAA. Topic application of elastase associated with systemic TGFβ neutralization in C57/Bl6j male mice led to a significant increase of macrophage infiltration in the aneurysmal tissue. This was associated with changes of the gene expression of the markers of the pro-inflammatory macrophages, called “M1” and of the macrophages involved in wound healing, called “M2”. To investigate the role of macrophages in this model, we used liposomes containing clodronate injections to deplete these cells. This led to significant decrease of the aortic dilatation and prevented rupture. This was associated with a better preservation of the extracellular matrix and significant changes in the gene expression of the markers of macrophages including arginase-1 (ARG1), a molecule involved in would healing. The proportion of macrophages expressing ARG1 increased with the severity of the AAA. At last, TGFβ neutralization led to a significant decrease of a population of macrophages involved in fibrosis, called “Sat-Mono”. This study highlighted the role and the phenotypic changes of macrophages during AAA development. We then analyzed the expression of 752 micro-RNAs in the aneurysmal aortic tissue which allowed identifying the micro-RNAs whose expression varied in the murine model. At last, the expression of micro-RNAs was investigated in patients with AAA. We compared the expression of micro-RNAs between diabetic and non-diabetic patients with AAA. This pilot study led to the identification of micro-RNAs that could potentially represent new targets involved in the negative association between diabetes and AAA.
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Juliette Raffort. Étude du rôle des monocytes / macrophages et des micro-ARNs dans les anévrismes de l’aorte abdominale. Biologie moléculaire. Université Côte d'Azur, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018AZUR4082⟩. ⟨tel-02383749⟩

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