Morphometric analysis of cardiac hypertrophy during development, maturation, and senescence in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Hypertrophy of the mammalian heart, regardless of the initiating event, results in architectural remodeling of ventricular components that maintain structural and functional characteristics of this organ. Ventricular components that vary their morphology and morphometry in a hypertrophic state are the muscle cells, connective tissue elements, vasculature, or a combination of some or all of the above. Morphologic quantification of the progressive tissue changes occurring throughout the natural life span of the spontaneously hypertensive and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats has not been thoroughly documented. Using perfused-fixed tissue from both strains at 1, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months of age, we have determined the morphometric changes that occurred in the subepicardial and midwall regions of the left ventricle. Myocyte cell size, wall thickness, and arterial blood pressure were elevated in 1-month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats, reached significance by 6 months, and remained significantly greater throughout the 24 months examined. Tissue morphometry demonstrated significant tissue component volumetric differences at 6 months in the spontaneously hypertensive rat. Age-related morphometric tissue changes occurred in both strains yet were exacerbated (percent volume of myocytes) or diminished (percent volume interstitial space) in the mature and aging spontaneously hypertensive rat. Capillary density of SHR left ventricle showed a drastic decline so that 6-month-old SHR had the same density as a senescent Wistar-Kyoto. Tissue morphometry and capillary density data strongly support the hypothesis that tissue oxygenation is diminished in the spontaneously hypertensive rat, and as a result, tissue necrosis and myocyte cell death occur.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association