Hypoxia in calcific aortic valve disease

Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the most common valvular heart disease in developed countries. Subsequent leaflet thickening leads to neovascularization of the formerly avascular valve, but the role of hypoxia and Hypoxia induced Factor 1a (Hif-1a) signaling is poorly understood. Shedding light on the role of Hif 1α signaling in aortic valve degeneration may facilitate the search for effective strategies for CAVD therapy, as Hif 1α is a promising target that can be manipulated through already available drugs.


Degeneration of aortic valve is characterized by dysfunction of valvular endothelial cells (VEC), oesteogenic differentiation of valvular interstitial cells (VIC), and dysregulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover. This complex interplay may be further influenced by pulsatile flow and sheer stress. Therefore a bioreactor with pulsatile flow has been established, as a sufficient model system to induce and evaluate native aortic valve degeneration.

  • Hypoxia in aortic valve degeneration
  • Ex vivo models of aortic valve degeneration (bioreactor)


• Dr. rer. nat. Naima Niazy

• cand. med. Sabine Feichtner

• cand. med. Babak Shakiba

• cand. med. Asya Candan

• bachelor student Kristina Katsoutas

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