Inflammation-mediated elastin destruction in the aortic medial layer is related to progression of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major component of green tea polyphenols, reportedly increases elastin synthesis in vitro and may possess anti-inflammatory effects. We used a rat model to investigate whether EGCG could prevent AAA progression.Methods:
AAA was induced with administration of intraluminal elastase and extraluminal CaCl2 in male rats. Rats were randomly divided into a control group (n = 30) and an EGCG group (n = 30). In the EGCG group, an EGCG solution (20 mg/d) was administered orally to each rat from 2 weeks before AAA induction and continued 4 weeks beyond induction.Results:
The abdominal aortic diameter was significantly smaller in the EGCG group than in the control group on day 28 (2.9 ± 0.2 vs 2.3 ± 0.1 mm; P < .0001). The medial layer wall thickness and elastin content were significantly greater in the EGCG group than in the control group on day 28 (68.4 ± 13.6 vs 46.7 ± 13.4 μm [P < .001] and 20.3 ± 4.6 vs 9.5 ± 3.6% [P < .0001], respectively). Gene expression levels of tropoelastin and lysyl oxidase were significantly higher in the EGCG group immediately before AAA induction, indicating promoted elastoregeneration by EGCG administration (tropoelastin: 0.59 ± 0.36 control vs 1.24 ± 0.36 EGCG [P < .05], lysyl oxidase: 0.77 ± 0.45 control vs 1.34 ± 0.4 EGCG [P < .05]) (fold increase). Gene expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β, were significantly downregulated in the EGCG group (1.82 ± 0.71 vs 0.97 ± 0.59 [P < .05] and 3.91 ± 3.24 vs 0.89 ± 0.59 [P < .05], respectively). On day 7, gene expression levels and gelatinolytic activity of matrix metalloproteinase 9 were significantly lower in the EGCG group (1.41 ± 0.86 vs 0.51 ± 0.42 [P < .05] and 1.00 ± 0.17 vs 0.29 ± 0.12 [P < .0001], respectively), whereas gene expression levels of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-1 were significantly higher in the EGCG group (0.96 ± 0.11 vs 1.14 ± 0.09; P < .05).Conclusions:
EGCG attenuated AAA progression in a rat model by preserving the aortic thickness and elastin content of the medial layer through regeneration of elastin, as mediated by anti-inflammatory effects, and subsequent reduction of matrix metalloproteinase activity.Clinical Relevance:
Therapeutic options for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) are currently limited to invasive surgical or endovascular repair. Although advances in diagnosis have allowed physicians to detect smaller AAAs, no pharmacologic treatment directly targeting AAA progression has been found thus far. In the present study, we demonstrated that a green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, attenuates AAA progression through anti-inflammatory and elastoregenerative mechanisms in a rat AAA model. Regular green tea consumption might be advantageous for patients with a small AAA or as a prophylactic strategy for AAA.