Age-dependent transcriptional alterations in cardiac endothelial cells

Uchenna Emechebe, Jonathan W. Nelson, Nabil J. Alkayed, Sanjiv Kaul, Andrew C. Adey, Anthony P. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aging is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Despite the fact that endothelial cells play critical roles in cardiovascular function and disease, the molecular impact of aging on this cell population in many organ systems remains unknown. In this study, we sought to determine age-associated transcriptional alterations in cardiac endothelial cells. Highly enriched populations of endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from the heart, brain, and kidney of young (3 mo) and aged (24 mo) C57/BL6 mice were profiled for RNA expression via bulk RNA sequencing. Approximately 700 cardiac endothelial transcripts significantly differ by age. Gene set enrichment analysis indicated similar patterns for cellular pathway perturbations. Receptor-ligand comparisons indicated parallel alterations in age-affected circulating factors and cardiac endothelial-expressed receptors. Gene and pathway enrichment analyses show that age-related transcriptional response of cardiac endothelial cells is distinct from that of endothelial cells derived from the brain or kidney vascular bed. Furthermore, single-cell analysis identified nine distinct EC subtypes and shows that the Apelin Receptor-enriched subtype is reduced with age in mouse heart. Finally, we identify age-dysregulated genes in specific aged cardiac endothelial subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021


  • Aging
  • Endothelial
  • Heart
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics


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