Objective: Male sex is a nonmodifiable risk factor for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) development. Similar to humans, male mice are more susceptible to angiotensin II (AngII)-induced AAAs than female mice. Previous studies demonstrated that castration of males markedly reduced the formation of AngII-induced AAAs. Progression of AAA size is associated with increased risk of aneurysm rupture. In this study, we hypothesized that castration of male mice would reduce the progression of established AngII-induced AAAs. Methods: Male apolipoprotein E-deficient mice were infused with AngII for 1 month to induce AAA formation. Aortic diameters were measured by ultrasound imaging, and mice were stratified into two groups that underwent a sham operation or castration. AngII infusions were continued for a further 2 months. Ultrasound imaging was used to quantify lumen diameters, and excised aortas were processed for quantification of AAA size, volume, and tissue characteristics. Results: Sham-operated mice exhibited progressive dilation of suprarenal aortic lumen diameters during the continued AngII infusion. Aortic lumen diameters were significantly decreased in castrated mice (n = 17) compared with sham-operated mice (n = 15) at study end point (1.63 ± 0.04 vs 1.88 ± 0.05 mm; P <.05). However, maximal external AAA diameters were not significantly different between sham-operated and castrated mice. The vascular volume/lumen volume ratio of excised AAAs imaged by ultrasound was significantly increased by castration (9.5% ± 2.0%) vs sham operation (4.8% ± 0.9%; n = 11 per group; P <.05). Moreover, compared with the thin-walled AAAs of sham-operated mice, aneurysm sections from castrated mice exhibited increased smooth muscle α-actin and collagen. Conclusions: Removal of endogenous male hormones by castration selectively reduces aortic lumen expansion while not altering the external AAA dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-776
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Society for Vascular Surgery.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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