In vivo aortic muscle cell growth kinetics. Differences between thoracic and abdominal segments after intimal injury in the rabbit.
Focal proliferation of smooth muscle cell (SMC) is an integral part of atherosclerotic plaque formation: characterization of regional variation in SMC growth kinetics is therefore important to the understanding of atherogenesis. SMC growth kinetics of rabbit abdominal and thoracic segments were compared. Rabbit aortas were denuded of endothelium and the animals killed after 3H-thymidine and Evans blue injections at 0 to 48 days after denudation. Incorporation of 3H-thymidine into both aortic segments peaked at 48 hours; no detectable incorporation occurred in the first 24 hours. Abdominal segment DNA specific activity (SA, dpm/micrograms DNA) and total kinetic activity (TKA, dpm/0.1 mm internal elastic lamina) at 48 hours were significantly greater than values for the thoracic aorta. Abdominal SA and TKA curves decreased exponentially after the 48-hour peak and parallel thoracic levels after day 7. SA and TKA values for each segment reflected the subsequent SMC intimal growth rates as measured morphometrically. Therefore, both segments share similar growth kinetic characteristics; however, the abdominal response to initimal injury is greater than the thoracic and leads to greater myointimal proliferation. The difference in response to injury in the two segments suggests regional variation in SMC's which are phenotypically similar.
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