Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis
Until now, the exact etiology of intracranial aneurysms formation remains unclear.
Although some previous reports have demonstrated an association between lipid accumulation and degenerative changes in aneurysm walls in humans, epidemiological studies have failed to identify dyslipidemia as a risk factor for intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis. Thus, Shimizu et al. examined whether an increase in serum cholesterol levels facilitates the progression of intracranial aneurysms in a rat model. Rats were given a high-fat diet (HFD) and subjected to an intracranial aneurysm model. The HFD elevated their serum cholesterol levels. The intracranial aneurysms induced at the anterior cerebral artery-olfactory artery bifurcation were significantly larger in the high-fat group than in the normal-chow group. Histological analysis demonstrated that the loss of medial smooth muscle layers was exacerbated in the high-fat group and indicated the presence of macrophage-derived foam cells in the lesions. In in vitro experiments, the expression levels of the pro-inflammatory genes induced by LPS in RAW264.7-derived foam cells were significantly higher than those in RAW264.7 cells. The combination of these results suggests that increased serum cholesterol levels facilitate degenerative changes in the media and the progression of intracranial aneurysms presumably through foam cell transformation 3).
In addition to ambiental factors (smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and hypertension), epidemiological studies have demonstrated a familiar influence contributing to the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysms, with increased frequency in first- and second-degree relatives of people with subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Data suggest that macrophage-derived Matrix metalloproteinase 2 and Matrix metalloproteinase 9, may play an important role in the progression of intracranial aneurysms. The findings will shed a new light into the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms and highlight the importance of inflammatory response causing the degeneration of extracellular matrix in the process of this disease 4).
Investigations strongly suggest that the pathophysiology is closely associated with chronic inflammation in vascular walls. Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) has a key role in the formation and progression.
Children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) are at risk for developing multiple intracranial aneurysms, and a high index of suspicion must be maintained during the interpretation of routine magnetic resonance imaging or angiography of the brain 5).
Dental bacterial DNA can be found using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction in both ruptured and unruptured aneurysm walls, suggesting that bacterial DNA plays a role in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysms in general, rather than only in ruptured aneurysms 6).
THSD1 in Intracranial aneurysm pathogenesis
Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing protein 1 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the THSD1 gene.
The protein encoded by this gene contains a type 1 thrombospondin domain, which is found in thrombospondin, a number of proteins involved in the complement pathway, as well as extracellular matrix proteins. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been observed.
As illustrated by THSD1 research, cell adhesion may play a significant role in IA 7).
A study discovered that harmful variants in THSD1 (Thrombospondin type-1 domain-containing protein 1) likely cause intracranial aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage in a subset of both familial and sporadic patients with supporting evidence from two vertebrate models 8).
A report identified THSD1 mutations in familial and sporadic IA patients and shows that THSD1 loss results in cerebral bleeding in 2 animal models. This finding provides new insight into IA and subarachnoid hemorrhage pathogenesis and provides new understanding of THSD1 function, which includes endothelial cell to extracellular matrix adhesion 9).