Age-associated alterations in viscoelastic properties of canine aortic strips.
Many studies have delineated the changes in the elastic properties of arterial tissue as a function of age. Despite the fact that viscoelasticity is a prominent feature of these tissues, there is little information or characterization of age-associated changes in viscoelastic properties, over a wide range of smooth muscle activation, particularly in nonhuman tissue where atherosclerosis is not a confounding factor. In the present study, using small sinusoidal length perturbations, we determined the dynamic stiffness properties across a wide range of lengths (stretch ratios from 100 to 135%) and frequencies (from 0.25 to 35 Hz) in strips excised from ascending and descending aortas from six young (2 to 4-year-old) and 12 senescent (10- to 13-year-old) beagles. Studies were performed with the smooth muscle fully activated with calcium and norepinephrine, as well as fully inactivated with cyanide, iodoacetate, and dinitrophenol. There was a cubic nonlinear dependence of stiffness modulus on length only in senescent tissue and, surprisingly, little frequency dependence in tissue of either age. Compared to the young aortas, the three-dimensional surface representing the dependence of stiffness modulus on length and frequency from both the ascending and descending regions of aged aortas was displaced higher on the stiffness axis both with the muscle fully activated and inactivated. This age difference was accentuated at longer lengths. The phase lag between force and length was greater in the young vs. the old strips only in the activated, ascending aortic tissue. We found no age differences in the content of elastin, collagen, or in the collagen/elastin ratio, to account for these mechanical property differences.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association