Cardiac hypertrophy or failure? - A systematic evaluation of the transverse aortic constriction model in C57BL/6NTac and C57BL/6J substrains

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Background: The mouse model of transverse aortic constriction (TAC) has been widely used as a cardiac stress in the investigation of the molecular mechanisms of cardiac hypertrophy. Recently, the International Knockout Mouse Consortium has selected the C57BL/6NTac (BL/6N) mouse strain to generate null alleles for all mouse genes; however, a range of genetic and cardiac phenotypic differences have been reported between this substrain and the commonly used C57BL/6J (BL/6J) substrain. It has been reported by Garcia-Menendez and colleagues that 12-week C57BL/6NTac mice are susceptible to heart failure but little is known about the cardiac remodeling in this substrain as cardiac function progresses from compensation to decompensation. Methods: BL/6J and BL/6N mice were subjected to pressure overload via TAC. The impact of both age and duration of cardiac pressure overload induced by TAC on cardiac remodelling were systematically assessed. Results: Our data showed that BL/6N mice developed eccentric hypertrophy with age- and time-dependent deterioration in cardiac function, accompanied by considerable interstitial fibrosis. In contrast, BL/6J mice were more resilient to TAC-induced cardiac stress and developed variable cardiac phenotypes independent of age and the duration of pressure overload. This was likely due to the greater variability in pre-TAC aortic arch dimension as measured by echocardiography. In addition to increased expression of brain natriuretic peptide and collagen gene type 1 and 3, BL/6N mice also had greater angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) gene expression than BL/6J counterparts at baseline and after 2- weeks TAC, which may contribute to the exacerbated interstitial fibrosis. Conclusions: BL/6N and BL/6J mice have very different responses to TAC stimulation and these differences should be taken into consideration when using the substrains to investigate the mechanisms of hypertrophy and heart failure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Research in Physiology
Early online date11 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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