Long-Term Effects of Hypertension on the Rat Aortic Wall and Their Relation to Concurrent Aging Changes: MORPHOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL STUDIES
The effects of long-term (16 months) hypertension on the thoracic aorta of male rats were compared to previously reported short-term (2.5 months) changes and to concurrent aging changes. Hypertension was produced by clipping a renal artery. Although short-term hypertension was characterized by a disproportionate increase in noncollagenous alkali-soluble proteins, which have been attributed primarily to vascular smooth muscle, with long-term hypertension there was no further increase in these proteins but instead there were striking increases in mural accumulations of elastin and collagen. Chronically elevated wall tension in hypertensive vessels was associated with a progressive increase in wall thickness which resulted in a value for wall stress no different from that of control vessels. Concurrent aging changes were qualitatively similar to, but much less pronounced than, those seen with hypertension and were attributed to an increase in wall tension in controls resulting from a combination of significant increases in diameter and systolic blood pressure with age. This study of the interaction of vessel structure and function has revealed common features of what appears to be a diverse group of vascular alterations.
- Received August 26, 1971.
- Accepted December 28, 1971.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.