Elastin and fibrillin mrna and protein levels in the ontogeny of normal human aorta

M. Godfrey, P. A. Nejezchleb, G. B. Schaefer, D. J. Minion, Y. Wang, B. T. Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Elastin associated microfibrils (EAMF) are ubiquitous connective tissue structures that are believed to provide tensile strength and flexibility to numerous tissues. In this study the ontogeny of EAMF in normal human aorta was examined using immunohistochemical analysis of fibrillin, an EAMF component, and mRNA levels of fibrillin and elastin. Specimens of infra-renal aorta from ages 11 months to 44 years were obtained following organ procurement. Decreasing amounts, as judged by computer digitized image analysis, of immunoreactive fibrillin when compared to elastin auto-fluorescence were observed in aortic sections with increasing age. Elastase treatment would un-mask the anti-fibrillin reactive epitope reinforcing the suggestion that EAMF act as a "scaffold" for elastin deposition. Northern and dot blot hybridizations demonstrated a decrease in relative fibrillin message levels with increasing age. The abundance of fibrillin in relation to elastin may suggest a role for EAMF independent of their association with elastin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalConnective Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part from grants by the American Heart Association, Nebraska Affiliate (M.G.), the Veterans Administration Research Advisory Group Award (B.T.B.), and by a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award (No. 5-91-0605) from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation (M.G.). We thank Biomeda Corporation, Foster City, CA for a kind gift of phycoerythrin conjugated antibodies. We’re indebted to Drs. J. Davidson, E Ramirez, and for providing the cDNA clones used for the elastin, fibrillin and ribosome probes.


  • Elastin microfibrils
  • Fibrillin
  • Immunology
  • MRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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