Basis for the altered arterial wall mechanics in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
Carotid and tail arteries from 20-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) were used to compare mechanics and biochemical properties. Measurements of pressure-diameter relations were made on isolated segments under conditions of active (145 mM K+) and passive (O mM Ca+2 and 2 mM EGTA) smooth muscle. Connective tissue, water and electrolyte contents, and extracellular water spaces were determined. Chemical data were also obtained from segments of thoracic aorta. The passive mechanics of arteries from the SHR were stiffer compared to those from WKY. Total connective tissue content (collagen + elastin) and collagen/elastin ratio were both smaller in the SHR arteries. Differences in the characteristics of the connective tissue matrix other than total content must exist in SHR and WKY arteries. Maximum values of active stress (force/area) developed by SHR arteries were larger and occurred at smaller values of wall strain compared to WKY arteries. The maximum reduction in wall diameter with smooth muscle activation was larger in the WKY arteries, but these constriction responses were better maintained at higher pressures by SHR arteries. Extracellular water space was lower in SHR arteries, while total water content was not different. The fraction of the wall of SHR arteries occupied by smooth muscle cells was larger than that of WKY arteries. When values of maximum active stress were normalized to the relative cell content, no difference was found for SHR and WKY carotids, but SHR tail arteries still produced a significantly larger active cell stress than WKY tail arteries. This suggests that intrinsic differences exist in the properties of smooth muscle cells of SHR and WKY tail arteries.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association