Alterations in mechanical properties of mesenteric resistance arteries in experimental portal hypertension.
ABSTRACT Splanchnic vasodilation is the pathophysiological hallmark in the development of the hyperdynamic circulatory syndrome in liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. This has been attributed so far mainly to a marked vascular hyporeactivity to endogenous vasoconstrictors. However, myogenic tone and vessel stiffness have not been addressed in mesenteric arteries in liver cirrhosis. CCl(4)(-)-induced ascitic cirrhotic (LC) and age-matched control rats, portal vein-ligated (PVL) rats, and sham-operated rats were investigated. Third-order mesenteric resistance arteries were studied under no-flow conditions using a pressure myograph measuring media thickness and lumen diameter in response to incremental increases in intramural pressure, from which wall mechanics were calculated. Electron microscopy was used for investigation of wall ultrastructure, especially the fenestrae in internal elastic lamina (IEL). In PVL animals, no significant change in passive vessel strain, stress, media-to-lumen ratio, or cross-sectional area was noted. In contrast, in LC rats, vessel strain was markedly elevated compared with healthy control rats, indicating a marked reduction in vessel stiffness. In addition, the strain-stress curve was shifted to the right, and the elastic modulus in dependency on vessel stress decreased, demonstrating predominantly structure-dependent factors to be involved. The media-to-lumen quotient was not significantly altered, but cross-sectional area was highly increased in LC rats, indicating hypertrophic outward remodeling. These findings were paralleled by enlarged fenestrae in the IEL but no change in thickness of IEL or proportion of extracellular matrix or vascular smooth muscle in LC rats. We concluded that, in long-standing severe portal hypertension such as ascitic LC but not in short-term conditions such as PVL, mesenteric resistance arteries exhibit vascular remodeling and markedly less resistant mechanical properties, leading to decreased vessel stiffness accompanied by structural changes in the IEL. This may well contribute to the maintenance and severity of splanchnic arterial vasodilation in LC.
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ABSTRACT: In liver cirrhosis, excessive splanchnic vasodilation is due to abnormal synthesis of endogenous vasodilators and to decreased sensitivity to vasoconstrictors. The role of mechanical stimuli such as wall shear stress (WSS) on splanchnic circulation remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the vasodilation induced by wall shear stress (WSS) and acute changes in blood flow in the mesenteric arteries in an experimental model of liver cirrhosis. The effect of acute changes in intraluminal flow (0, 10, and 20 μl/min) and WSS on the diameter of the mesenteric arteries (diameters <500 μm) of control and cirrhotic rats was assessed, at baseline and after the inhibition of nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase and hemeoxygenase. Concentration-response curves to phenylephrine were also obtained. In controls, the increase in intraluminal flow led to a significant increase in arterial diameter (p < 0.05), while WSS remained stable; the effect was maintained in vessels pre-constricted with phenylephrine, blocked by the exposure to indomethacin and L-NAME and restored by the subsequent addition of chromium mesoporphyrin (p < 0.05). In cirrhotic arteries, arterial diameters did not change in response to acute increase in flow, neither at baseline nor after exposure to indomethacin and L-NAME, while WSS increased (p < 0.01). Responsiveness to flow was partially restored (p < 0.05) after exposure of the arteries to chromium mesoporphyrin in addition to indomethacin and L-NAME. Arteries from cirrhotic rats showed an abolished responsiveness to acute variations in flow, which exposes the mesenteric endothelium to sudden variations in WSS.Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 07/2012; 8-9(47):1003-13. · 2.08 Impact Factor
- Gut 05/2011; 60(9):1167-9. · 10.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vascular dysfunction in atherosclerosis and diabetes mellitus, as observed in the aging population of developed societies, is associated with vascular DNA damage and cell senescence. We hypothesized that cumulative DNA damage during aging contributes to vascular dysfunction. In mice with genomic instability resulting from the defective nucleotide excision repair genes ERCC1 and XPD (Ercc1(d/-) and Xpd(TTD) mice), we explored age-dependent vascular function compared with that in wild-type mice. Ercc1(d/-) mice showed increased vascular cell senescence, accelerated development of vasodilator dysfunction, increased vascular stiffness, and elevated blood pressure at a very young age. The vasodilator dysfunction was due to decreased endothelial nitric oxide synthase levels and impaired smooth muscle cell function, which involved phosphodiesterase activity. Similar to Ercc1(d/-) mice, age-related endothelium-dependent vasodilator dysfunction in Xpd(TTD) animals was increased. To investigate the implications for human vascular disease, we explored associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms of selected nucleotide excision repair genes and arterial stiffness within the AortaGen Consortium and found a significant association of a single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs2029298) in the putative promoter region of DDB2 gene with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. Mice with genomic instability recapitulate age-dependent vascular dysfunction as observed in animal models and in humans but with an accelerated progression compared with wild-type mice. In addition, we found associations between variations in human DNA repair genes and markers for vascular stiffness, which is associated with aging. Our study supports the concept that genomic instability contributes importantly to the development of cardiovascular disease.Circulation 06/2012; 126(4):468-78. · 15.20 Impact Factor