Evidence for smooth muscle cell hyperplasia was sought in elastic and muscular vessels of rabbits 2 weeks after hypertension had been induced by partial constriction of the abdominal aorta above both kidneys. In those arteries taken from the circulation proximal to the constriction, specifically the common carotid artery and the aorta, vessel length, wall thickness, weight, and deoxyribonucleic acid content were increased in proportion to the rise in arterial pressure. There was no change in the extracellular space of muscular arteries as measured by [14C]inulin. [3H]Thymidine uptake measured in a gastric artery increased in proportion to the rise in arterial pressure. As demonstrated by light microscope autoradiography, [3H]thymidine was incorporated into cells in all layers of the artery wall but predominantly into the smooth muscle cells. There was no change in the size of arteries below the ligature where the arterial pressure was within normal limits. The data demonstrated that the increase in vessel wall dimensions in this animal model of hypertension is due in part, during the acute phase, to an increase in the number of cells, particularly vascular smooth muscle cells.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association