Macrophage burden of aortic tissue. A. CD68 expression. CD68 is a marker of macrophages and thus is a general marker of inflammation. Histologic sections of aorta from the indicated animal groups were analyzed for CD68 protein by immunohistochemistry using anti-CD68 antibody. Note that the AAV/hSMAD3-HCD-treated animals displayed a much lower brown CD68 signal than the AAV/Neo-HCD-treated animals strongly suggesting lower inflammation. B. shows a similar analysis with anti-ITGAM antibody, another marker of macrophages, with similar results to CD68. C. shows a QRT-PCR analysis of EMR expression, another macrophage marker. Note, again, macrophage levels were significantly lower (p <0.05) in hSMAD3-treated animals than Neo-treated. D. shows a QRT-PCR analysis of ITGAM expression. Note, again, macrophage levels trended lower in hSMAD3-treated animals than Neo-treated.