Smooth muscle cell fate in cardiovascular disease | With speaker Pei-Yu Chen, PhD

The etiology of aortic aneurysms is poorly understood, but it is associated with atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia, and abnormal transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling in smooth muscle. Here, we investigated the interactions between these different factors in aortic aneurysm development and identified a key role for smooth muscle cell (SMC) reprogramming into a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like state. SMC-specific ablation of TGF-β signaling in Apoe–/– mice on a hypercholesterolemic diet led to development of aortic aneurysms exhibiting all the features of human disease, which was associated with transdifferentiation of a subset of contractile SMCs into an MSC-like intermediate state that generated osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and macrophages. This combination of medial SMC loss with marked increases in non-SMC aortic cell mass induced exuberant growth and dilation of the aorta, calcification and ossification of the aortic wall, and inflammation, resulting in aneurysm development.

Hosted by Fluidigm with invited speaker: Pei-Yu Chen, PhD, Research Scientist, Yale School of Medicine

Eric Swanson, PhD, Senior Field Application Scientist, Fluidigm will provide an overview of the Hyperion Imaging System and present data to demonstrate how an Imaging Mass Cytometry approach can be used to uncover new biomarkers and cellular interactions in your biological samples.