City Research Online

Regional variation in arterial stiffening and dysfunction in western diet-induced obesity

Bender, S. B., Castorena-Gonzalez, J. A., Garro, M. , Reyes-Aldasoro, C. C., Sowers, J. R., DeMarco, V. G. & Martinez-Lemus, L. A. (2015). Regional variation in arterial stiffening and dysfunction in western diet-induced obesity. AJP - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 309(4), H574-H582. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00155.2015


Increased central vascular stiffening, assessed in vivo by determination of pulse wave velocity (PWV), is an independent predictor of cardiovascular event risk. Recent evidence demonstrates that accelerated aortic stiffening occurs in obesity; however, little is known regarding stiffening of other disease-relevant arteries or whether regional variation in arterial stiffening occurs in this setting. We addressed this gap in knowledge by assessing femoral PWV in vivo in conjunction with ex vivo analyses of femoral and coronary structure and function in a mouse model of western diet (WD; high-fat/high-sugar)-induced obesity and insulin resistance. WD feeding resulted in increased femoral PWV in vivo. Ex vivo analysis of femoral arteries revealed a leftward shift in the strain-stress relationship, increased modulus of elasticity, and decreased compliance indicative of increased stiffness following WD feeding. Confocal and multiphoton fluorescence microscopy revealed increased femoral stiffness involving decreased elastin/collagen ratio in conjunction with increased femoral transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) content in WD fed mice. Further analysis of the femoral internal elastic lamina (IEL) revealed a significant reduction in the number and size of fenestrae with WD feeding. Coronary artery stiffness and structure was unchanged by WD feeding. Functionally, femoral, but not coronary, arteries exhibited endothelial dysfunction whereas coronary arteries exhibited increased vasoconstrictor responsiveness not present in femoral arteries. Taken together, our data highlight important regional variations in the development of arterial stiffness and dysfunction associated with WD feeding. Furthermore, our results suggest TGF-β signaling and IEL fenestrae remodeling as potential contributors to femoral artery stiffening in obesity.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: pulse wave velocity; femoral; coronary; confocal microscopy
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of ajpheart.00155.2015.full.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login