Polyamines and microbiota in bicuspid and tricuspid aortic valve aortopathy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Polyamines are small aliphatic cationic molecules synthesized via a highly regulated pathway and involved in general molecular and cellular phenomena. Both mammalian cells and microorganisms synthesize polyamines, and both sources may contribute to the presence of polyamines in the circulation. The dominant location for microorganisms within the body is the gut. Accordingly, the gut microbiota probably synthesizes most of the polyamines in the circulation in addition to those produced by the mammalian host cells. Polyamines are mandatory for cellular growth and proliferation. Established evidence suggests that the polyamine spermidine prolongs lifespan and improves cardiovascular health in animal models and humans through both local mechanisms, involving improved cardiomyocyte function, and systemic mechanisms, including increased NO bioavailability and reduced systemic inflammation. Higher levels of polyamines have been detected in non-dilated aorta of patients affected by bicuspid aortic valve congenital malformation, an aortopathy associated with an increased risk for thoracic ascending aorta aneurysm. In this review, we discuss metabolism of polyamines and their potential effects on vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cell function in vascular pathology of the thoracic ascending aorta associated with bicuspid or tricuspid aortic valve.


External organisations
  • University of Palermo
  • University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch