Difference in dilatation between endothelium-preserved and -desquamated segments in the flow-loaded rat common carotid artery.
To study arterial dilatation in response to increased flow, we observed the bilateral common carotid arteries (CCAs) of 10 16-week-old rats that were maintained for 8 weeks after construction of an arteriovenous (AV) fistula between the left CCA and the jugular vein at a level 20 mm distal from the aortic orifice. The flow in the left CCA increased 11-fold and that of the right CCA increased twofold compared with values before surgery. The left CCA showed complete desquamation of endothelial cells in the distal one third of the segment proximal to the AV fistula. In the left CCA the endothelium-preserved area dilated significantly (the luminal radius was 1.34 times larger than control; p less than 0.001, n = 4) with a significant increase of the cross-sectional area of the media (p less than 0.01, n = 4) and showed high wall shear stress (70 +/- 11 dynes/cm2 near the aortic orifice). In contrast, the endothelial cell-desquamated area did not dilate but did show very high wall shear stress (231 +/- 23 dynes/cm2) without any intimal smooth muscle cell proliferation. The right CCA dilated significantly (luminal radius was 1.07 times larger than control; p less than 0.001, n = 4) with a wall shear stress of 30 dynes/cm2 near the brachiocephalic orifice. All CCAs retained their fundamental arterial structure. We conclude that in the rat CCA, arterial dilatation in response to increased flow is a gradual remodeling process related to the presence of endothelial cells that have been influenced by the level of flow increase.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association