Structural and hemodynamic response of peripheral arteries of macaque monkeys to atherogenic diet.
The arteries of monkeys given atherogenic diets develop marked intimal thickening and medial thinning, but luminal size apparently changes minimally. The hemodynamic significance of the atherosclerotic changes is therefore uncertain. To evaluate vascular function in atherosclerotic arteries, we studied the hind-limb vessels of adult male rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys to assess the structural and hemodynamic responses to an atherogenic diet given for about 1.5 years or for much longer periods (6.5 years for rhesus and 4.3 years for cynomolgus monkeys). The intimal cross-sectional area greatly increased after the atherogenic diet, but there was no significant luminal narrowing after either the 1.5-year diet or the longer diet periods. The media of atherosclerotic arteries showed focal atrophy and focal thinning after pressure fixation, but the total medial mass was not decreased even after the long diet periods. Hemodynamic studies indicated mild functional impairment in the atherosclerotic vessels; resting resistance increased and vasodilator responses decreased, but adrenergic responses were preserved. Thus, the marked changes that occur in the arterial wall in experimental primate atherosclerosis include adaptations to lesion formation that permit a long prestenotic phase of atherosclerosis in which vascular dysfunction is minimal.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association