Dilation of the thoracic aorta occurs in humans and mice. Left unchecked, it can progress to aneurysm formation, which has a high incidence of rupture and attendant mortality.
These researchers are studying thoracic aortic dilation in the IDUA mouse. In one strain of mice with IDUA deficiency, dilation of the thoracic aorta routinely occurs by adulthood. In another mouse strain, with the same IDUA deficiency, thoracic aortic dilation does not occur. The researchers are performing RNA sequencing of the aortas of these mice to determine the underlying upregulation of molecules involved in these differences. They have worked on adult mice, and are now moving to juvenile mice as IDUA deficiency appears to have a "point of no return" where dilation invariably occurs. They are working to detect RNA differences between juvenile and adult mice.