Effect of nifedipine on coronary capillary geometry in normotensive and hypertensive rats.
The aim of this study was to describe quantitatively changes in the coronary capillary network resulting from hypertrophy in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and a potential effect of long-term treatment of these animals with nifedipine. Age-matched male SHR and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were treated for 27 weeks. Four experimental groups were analyzed: (1) untreated SHR, (2) nifedipine-treated SHR, (3) untreated control WKY rats, and (4) nifedipine-treated WKY rats. Treatment significantly decreased systolic blood pressure in SHR, although normotensive pressures were not reached. SHR had significantly higher cardiac weight, which decreased in nifedipine-treated rats, but values remained above those in control animals. Morphometric evaluation revealed lower capillary density and larger capillary domain area in hearts from SHR, which were partially attenuated by treatment with nifedipine. Capillary domain area was also significantly larger at arteriolar portions compared with domains supplied at venular portions. Capillary segment length was consistently shorter on the venular than arteriolar portion of the capillary, whereas no differences were observed between hearts from WKY rats and SHR. Treatment with nifedipine resulted in a prolongation of segment length. Reconstruction of the three-dimensional capillary supply unit (capillary domain area times capillary segment length) revealed significant differences between the amount of tissue supplied by a capillary at its arteriolar portion than more distally, which was detectable in all experimental groups. In hypertrophic hearts from SHR this tissue volume is increased mainly because of longer intercapillary distances and larger domains, especially on arteriolar portions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association