Mice with diet-induced obesity demonstrate a relative prothrombotic factor profile and a thicker aorta with reduced ex-vivo function

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Abstract

Classical risk factors such as cholesterol and lipoproteins are currently not sufficient to explain all physiopathological processes of obesity-related vascular dysfunction as well as atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis. Therefore, the discovery of potential markers involved in vascular dysfunction in the obese state is still needed. Disturbances in hemostatic factors may be involved in the developmental processes associated with obesity-related cardiovascular disorders. We hypothesized that alterations of several hemostatic factors in the obese state could correlate with the function and morphology of the aorta and it could play an important role in the development of vascular dysfunction. To test this, we fed mice with a high-fat diet for 18 weeks and investigated the relationships between selected hemostatic factors (in either plasma or in the liver), metabolic hormones and morphology, and ex-vivo function of the aorta. Here, we show that 18-week exposure to a high-fat diet results in a higher plasma fibrinogen and prolonged prothrombin time in diet-induced obese mice compared to the controls. In addition, liver levels or activities of FII, FX, activated protein C, AT-III, and protein S are significantly different in diet-induced obese mice as compared to the controls. Curiously, FII, FVIII, FX, activated protein C, PTT, and protein S are correlated with both the aorta histology (aortic thickness and diameter) and ex-vivo aortic function. Notably, ex-vivo studies revealed that diet-induced obese mice show a marked attenuation in the functions of the aorta. Taken together, aforementioned hemostatic factors may be considered as critical markers for obesity-related vascular dysfunction and they could play important roles in diagnosing of the dysfunction.

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