Research Paper Volume 15, Issue 4 pp 982—1003

Identification of cellular heterogeneity and key signaling pathways associated with vascular remodeling and calcification in young and old primate aortas based on single-cell analysis

Yehu Yin1,2, , Congcong Huang3, , Zidi Wang3, , Pan Huang3, , Shanshan Qin1,3, ,

  • 1 Department of Stomatology, Taihe Hospital and Hubei Key Laboratory of Embryonic Stem Cell Research, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan 442000, Hubei, P.R. China
  • 2 Institute of Medicine, Jishou University, Jishou 416000, P.R. China
  • 3 Laboratory of Tumor Biology, Academy of Bio-Medicine Research, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan 442000, Hubei, P.R. China

Received: September 30, 2022       Accepted: December 9, 2022       Published: December 23, 2022
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2022 Yin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Aging of the vascular system is the main cause of many cardiovascular diseases. The structure and function of the blood vessel wall change with aging. To prevent age-related cardiovascular diseases, it is essential to understand the cellular heterogeneity of vascular wall and changes of cellular communication among cell subpopulations during aging. Here, using published single-cell RNA sequencing datasets of young and old monkey aortas, we analyzed the heterogeneity of vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells in detail and identified a distinct endothelial cell subpopulation that involved in vascular remodeling and calcification. Moreover, cellular communication that changed with aging was analyzed and we identified a number of signaling pathways that associated with vascular aging. We found that EGF signaling pathway play an essential role in vascular remodeling and calcification of aged aortas. This work provided a better understanding of vascular aging and laid the foundation for prevention of age-related vascular pathologies.


AFs: Adventitial fibroblasts; DEGs: Differentially expressed genes; ECM: Extracellular matrix; ECs: Endothelial cells; GEO: Gene expression omnibus; GO: Gene ontology; PCA: Principal component analysis; scRNA-seq: Single-cell RNA sequencing; SMCs: Smooth muscle cells; UMAP: Uniform manifold approximation and projection.