Association of hypoxia and mitochondrial damage associated molecular patterns in the pathogenesis of vein graft failure: a pilot study

Finosh G. Thankam, Joseph G. Ayoub, Mohamed M.Radwan Ahmed, Aleem Siddique, Thomas C. Sanchez, Rafael A. Peralta, Thomas J. Pennington, Devendra K. Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the standard treatment modality in revascularization of the myocardium. However, the graft failure remains the major complication following CABG procedure. Involvement of mitochondrial damage-associated molecular patterns (mt-DAMPs) in the pathogenesis of vein-graft failure is largely unknown. Here, we investigated the expression of major protein-mt-DAMPs, cytochrome-C (Cyt-C), heat shock protein-60 (Hsp-60), mitochondrial transcription factor A (mtTFA), in the occluded graft and associated tissues, including distal left anterior descending (LAD), LAD adjacent to anastomosis, and left internal mammary artery (LIMA) in the microswine CABG model. The protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) was significantly decreased in the graft and LIMA, whereas the protein expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) and Cyt-C was decreased and that of mtTFA and Hsp60 was increased in all tissues compared to controls. There was no significant difference in the protein expression of citrate synthase, complex-1, and mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase in the graft and associated tissues compared to control. Hypoxia in cultured smooth muscle cells (SMCs) significantly upregulated all mitochondrial biomarkers and mt-DAMPs compared to normoxia. The increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) content and compromised membrane integrity in the hypoxic SMCs correlated well with increased mt-DAMPs in the graft and associated tissues, suggesting a possible role of mt-DAMPs in the pathogenesis of graft failure. These findings suggest that the pathological signals elicited by mt-DAMPs could reveal targets for better therapeutic approaches and diagnostic strategies in the management of CABG graft failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-52
Number of pages15
JournalTranslational Research
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Coronary artery bypass grafting
  • Damage associated molecular patterns
  • Graft failure
  • Hypoxia
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry, medical


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