Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a disease with high morbidity and mortality, especially when ruptured. The rationale of this study was to evaluate the repurposing of lenvatinib, a multi–tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in limiting experimental AAA growth targeting vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and angiogenesis. We applied systemic and local lenvatinib treatment to elastase-induced murine aortic aneurysms, and RNA profiling identified myosin heavy chain 11 (Myh11) as the most deregulated transcript. Daily oral treatment substantially reduced aneurysm formation in 2 independent mouse models. In addition, a large animal aneurysm model in hypercholesterolemic low-density lipoprotein receptor–knockout (LDLR–/–) Yucatan minipigs was applied to endovascularly deliver lenvatinib via drug-eluting balloons (DEBs). Here, a single local endovascular delivery blocked AAA progression successfully compared with a DEB-delivered control treatment. Reduced VSMC proliferation and a restored contractile phenotype were observed in animal tissues (murine and porcine), as well as AAA patient-derived cells. Apart from increasing MYH11 levels, lenvatinib reduced downstream ERK signaling. Hence, lenvatinib is a promising therapy to limit aortic aneurysm expansion upon local endovascular delivery. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor was able to positively affect pathways of key relevance to human AAA disease, even in a potentially new local delivery using DEBs.
Albert Busch, Jessica Pauli, Greg Winski, Sonja Bleichert, Ekaterina Chernogubova, Susanne Metschl, Hanna Winter, Matthias Trenner, Armin Wiegering, Christoph Otto, Johannes Fischer, Judith Reiser, Julia Werner, Joy Roy, Christine Brostjan, Christoph Knappich, Hans-Henning Eckstein, Valentina Paloschi, Lars Maegdefessel