Protective function of Ahnak1 in vascular healing after wire injury


  • N. Haase
  • C. Rüder
  • H. Haase
  • S. Kamann
  • M. Kouno
  • I. Morano
  • R. Dechend
  • D. Zohlnhöfer
  • T. Haase


  • Journal of Vascular Research


  • J Vasc Res 54 (3): 131-142


  • AIM: Vascular remodeling following injury substantially accounts for restenosis and adverse clinical outcomes. In this study, we investigated the role of the giant scaffold protein Ahnak1 in vascular healing after endothelial denudation of the murine femoral artery. METHODS: The spatiotemporal expression pattern of Ahnak1 and Ahnak2 was examined using specific antibodies and real-time quantitative PCR. Following wire-mediated endothelial injury of Ahnak1-deficient mice and wild-type (WT) littermates, the processes of vascular healing were analyzed. RESULTS: Ahnak1 and Ahnak2 showed a mutually exclusive vascular expression pattern, with Ahnak1 being expressed in the endothelium and Ahnak2 in the medial cells in naive WT arteries. After injury, a marked increase of Ahnak1- and Ahnak2-positive cells at the lesion site became evident. Both proteins showed a strong upregulation in neointimal cells 14 days after injury. Ahnak1-deficient mice showed delayed vascular healing and dramatically impaired re-endothelialization that resulted in prolonged adverse vascular remodeling, when compared to the WT littermates. CONCLUSION: The large scaffold and adaptor proteins Ahnak1 and Ahnak2 exhibit differential expression patterns and functions in naive and injured arteries. Ahnak1 plays a nonredundant protective role in vascular healing.