BACKGROUND: Transverse aortic constriction (TAC) operation is used as an experimental model of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and LV failure in mice. The severity of LV remodeling or failure may depend on the degree of TAC, but is variable among operated animals. Therefore, we tried to identify the optimal diameter of TAC to create this model with ease and high reproducibility.
METHODS AND RESULTS: To produce TAC in C57BL/6J mice (7-9 weeks, body weight 19-26 g, n = 109), a 7-0 nylon suture ligature was tightly tied around the transverse aorta against needles with 3 different diameters (mm); 0.40, 0.385 and 0.375. LV wall thickness, end-diastolic dimension, fractional shortening were measured by echocardiography. At 4 weeks after TAC, no mouse with the 0.400 mm gauge progressed in LV failure. The 0.385 mm pin gauge mouse kept a more survival rate compared with the 0.375 mm (59% vs 48%), representing same efficient in LV failure. With the 0.385 mm pin gauge, hearts of mice remained LV hypertrophy at 1 week after TAC, followed by LV failure at 4 weeks.
CONCLUSION: TAC with the diameter of 0.385 mm can effectively induce the transition from LV hypertrophy to failure in mice with relatively preserved survival.