Morphological and contractile characteristics of rat aortae perfused for 3 or 6 days in vitro.

Artery

PubMedID: 1739386

Mangiarua EI, Moss N, Lemke SM, McCumbee WD, Szarek JL, Gruetter CA. Morphological and contractile characteristics of rat aortae perfused for 3 or 6 days in vitro. Artery. 1992;19(1):14-38.
We studied the morphological and contractile characteristics of rat thoracic aortic segments perfused for 3 or 6 days under pulsatile conditions. Light microscopic examination of the segments revealed the presence of an unchanged tunica media. However, the intimal surface was mostly devoid of endothelial cells. The perfused aortic segments showed a dramatic increase in spontaneous tone when compared to fresh and sham-treated aortic segments. Maximum responses to potassium and norepinephrine were reduced after 3 days of perfusion (20-40% reduction), while maximum responses to 5-hydroxytryptamine and angiotensin II were not significantly different. After 6 days of perfusion, maximum responses to all agonist were reduced (50-60%). Sensitivity to norepinephrine was not affected by the treatment, while sensitivity to 5-hydroxytryptamine was reduced. The perfused aortic segments relaxed well in response to isoproterenol. Our system provides a useful experimental model for short-term studies of hypertension- and atherosclerosis-related vascular changes. Further refinement and characterization could improve the performance of the system for longer-term studies.