Characterization of atrial and ventricular remodeling in an improved minimally invasive mouse model of transverse aortic constriction

Jose Alberto, Navarro-Garcia, Satadru K., Lahiri, Yuriana, Aguilar-Sanchez, Anilkumar K., Reddy, Xander H.T., Wehrens

Journal of Cardiovascular Aging |

Introduction: Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Most large and small animal disease models of HF are based on surgical procedures. A common surgical technique to induce HF is transverse aortic constriction (TAC), which induces pressure overload. The conventional TAC (cTAC) procedure is a highly invasive surgery that is associated with severe inflammation and excessive perioperative deaths. Aim: To establish an improved, minimally invasive TAC (mTAC) procedure that does not require thoracotomy. Methods and results: Following anesthesia, mice were intubated, and a small incision was made at the neck and chest. After cutting the sternum about 4 mm, the aortic arch was approached without opening the pleural cavity. A suture was placed between the brachiocephalic artery and the left common carotid artery. This model was associated with low perioperative mortality and a highly reproducible constriction evidenced by an increased right-to-left carotid blood flow velocity ratio in mTAC mice (5.9 ± 0.2) vs. sham controls (1.2 ± 0.1; P < 0.001). mTAC mice exhibited progressive cardiac remodeling during the 8 weeks post-TAC, resulting in reduced left ventricular (LV) contractility, increased LV end-systolic diameter, left atrial enlargement and diastolic dysfunction, and an increased heart weight to tibia length ratio (mTAC: 15.0 ± 0.8 vs. sham: 10.1 ± 0.6; P < 0.01). Conclusion: Our data show that the mTAC procedure yields a highly reproducible phenotype consisting of LV contractile dysfunction and enlargement, combined with left atrial enlargement and diastolic dysfunction. Potential impact of the findings: This model may be used to test the molecular mechanisms underlying atrial remodeling associated with HF development or to evaluate therapeutic strategies to treat these conditions.