Heterogeneous distribution of a diffusional tracer in the aortic wall of normal and atherosclerotic rabbits.
Tracer distribution as an index of nutritional support across the thoracic and abdominal aortas in rabbits in the presence or absence of atherosclerotic lesions was evaluated using [14C]antipyrine, a metabolically inert, diffusible indicator. Intimal plaques were produced by endothelial balloon denudation of the thoracic aorta and a 1% cholesterol diet. After a steady intravenous infusion of 200 microCi of [14C]antipyrine for 60 seconds, thoracic and abdominal aortas and the heart were excised, and autoradiograms of 20-microns-thick sections were quantified, using microcomputer-aided densitometry. Regional radioactivity and regional diffusional support, as an index of nutritional flow estimated from the timed collections of arterial blood, was 367 and 421 nCi.g-1 (82 and 106 ml.min-1.100 g-1) in thoracic aortic media of the normal and atherosclerotic rabbits, respectively. Radioactivity at the thickened intima was 179 nCi.g-1 (p less than 0.01 versus media). The gruel was noted at a deeper site within the thickened intima, and diffusional support here was 110 nCi.g-1 (p less than 0.01 versus an average radioactivity at the thickened intima). After ligating the intercostal arteries, regional tracer distribution in the media beneath the fibrofatty lesion, but not the plaque-free intima, was reduced to 46%. Thus, in the presence of advanced intimal thickening, the heterogeneous distribution of diffusional flow is prominent across the vessel wall, and abluminal routes are crucial to meet the increased demands of nutritional requirements.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association