Figure 6. AAV8-LDLr gene transfer significantly reduces interstitial fibrosis, perivascular fibrosis, and apoptosis after TAC. Bar graphs illustrating the number of cleaved caspase-3 positive cells (A), the degree of interstitial fibrosis (B), and the degree of perivascular fibrosis (C) in control sham (n=14), AAV8-LDLr sham (n=11), control TAC (n=25), and AAV8-LDLr TAC (n=11) 8 weeks after operation. Representative photomicrographs showing Sirius Red-stained interstitial collagen viewed under polarized light (D). Scale bar represents 50 μm. Bar graphs illustrating the 25 kD isoform of TGF-ß1 (E), Smad2/3 (F), and Smad4 (G) myocardial protein levels quantified by western blot in the myocardium of control sham (n=8), AAV8-LDLr sham (n=8), control TAC (n=8), and AAV8-LDLr TAC (n=8) mice 8 weeks after operation. All protein levels were normalized to the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) protein level. Data are expressed as means ± SEM. Representative images of western blots are shown in panel h. Insets show a 4x magnification of the boxed region.