Oxygen consumption in aortic tissue from rabbits with diet-induced atherosclerosis.
The inner parts of the arterial wall depend upon diffusion for nutrition and oxygenation. During the atherosclerotic process, increased intimal thickness leads to impaired diffusion, and at the same time the oxygen requirements increase. On this basis it has been suggested that the balance between the supply and demand of oxygen in the arterial wall may be important for the fate of the initiated lesion. In the first part of the present study, the oxygen consumption was measured during perfusion in aortic intima-media segments from cholesterol-fed rabbits. The results indicated that the oxygen consumption per DNA increased with increasing degree of atherosclerotic involvement up to a certain level. For more diseased aortas, however, the oxygen consumption decreased again. In the second part of the study, the oxygen consumption was measured in foam cell and smooth muscle cell fractions isolated from rabbit aortic intima-media. These measurements indicated that the oxygen consumption of isolated foam cells was three times higher than that of isolated smooth muscle cells. It is proposed in the study that the increased oxygen consumption of the less diseased aortas reflected an increased proportion of foam cells in the arterial wall. As the lesions grow and the number of foam cells in the intima increases, the available diffusion capacity for oxygen and nutrients to deeper parts of the lesion may become insufficient, leading to the observed decrease in cellular oxygen consumption of the more diseased samples. Hypoxic cell damage and further tissue reactions may occur and the healing of the initiated lesion may be endangered.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association