Ultrastructural characteristics of endothelial permeability in chronic hypertension.
This study examined characteristics of paracellular and pinocytotic permeability pathways across the middle cerebral artery endothelium of 12- to 16- month-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Interendothelial junctions in SHR, like those of age-matched Wistar-Kyoto controls, were impermeable to lanthanum and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) tracers. Freeze-fracture preparations revealed that interendothelial junctions of chronically hypertensive rats are characterized by a twofold increase over controls in the number of tight junctional strands and the mean apical-basal depth. It is believed that this tight junctional hypertrophy may function to increase adhesive forces between neighboring endothelial cells, and may play a role inthe prevention of hypertension-induced paracellular permeability increases. Morphological and tracer studies of pinocytotic pathways indicated that, it the middle cerebral artery, endothelial vesicular transport activity is not increased during chronic hypertension. No evidence was found to indicate the presence of transendothelial permeability channels across control or hypertensive arterial endothelium. Thus, increased transendothelial permeability, commonly observed in acute hypertension, does not appear to occur during chronic hypertension, at least in the middle cerebral artery. Our findings suggest that the arterial endothelium may undergo structural (tight junctional) adaptation in response to prolonged hypertension.
- Copyright © 1981 by American Heart Association