Aortic hypertrophy and "waterlogging" in the development of coarctation hypertension.
To study the mechanisms and roles of vascular structural changes during the development of hypertension, we coarcted or sham-coarcted the abdominal aorta of rats. At intervals of 3 to 56 days later, we obtained standardized segments of thoracic and abdominal aortas for measurement of dry weight, water content, and amino acid content. Carotid arterial pressure was elevated by day 5 in coarcted rats and remained elevated. Femoral and tail arterial pressures remained normal. Cardiac ventricular weight and dry weight of the thoracic aorta, normalized for body weight, rose rapidly over 3-10 days in coarcted rats, remaining constant at 50-60% above levels in sham-coarcted rats thereafter. In contrast, water content of thoracic aorta in coarcted rats peaked at 123% of control values on day 7 (p less than 0.001), falling rapidly thereafter to levels about half of peak. Increments in dry weight and water content of the normotensive abdominal aortic segments were of far lesser magnitude and occurred 1 to 2 weeks later, probably reflecting the effects of initial hypotension of the hindquarters. Percent hydroxyproline of intima-media segments of the thoracic aorta remained normal during the 8-week period, indicating that increases in aortic dry weight did not represent disproportional fibrosis and thus are attributable to muscular hypertrophy. These results provide support for the hypothesis that arterial wall "waterlogging" is primarily an early manifestation of the hypertensive process. The greatest magnitude of waterlogging coincides with the rapid early increase in aortic dry weight, representing hypertrophy, which suggests common mechanisms, such as activation of Na+-H+ antiport.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association