Transient Morphological and Biochemical Alterations of Arterial Proteoglycan during Early Wound Healing
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Proteoglycan alterations in the carotid arteries of normolipemic rabbits during the first 14 days after injury were evaluated by morphometric analysis of ruthenium red-stained sections using transmission electron microscopy and by incorporation of 35S-sulfate. Two types of de-endothelializing injury were compared, air-drying and balloon catheter. Three days after either injury, a transient increase in concentration of 35S-labeled glycosaminoglycans, changes in distribution of 35S-sulfate among glycosaminoglycans, and a two- to threefold increase in 35S-sulfate content (measured as 35S/micrograms glycosaminoglycan) were observed. Morphometric analysis revealed an alteration in medial proteoglycan distribution and morphology at 3 days after injury, which was more evident after air-drying than balloon injury. In response to either injury, metabolically activated smooth muscle cells were associated with very large proteoglycan granules (diameter: > 60 nm) which possibly contained glycosaminoglycans with longer chains and/or altered charge densities. By 14 days after either injury, the distribution of medial proteoglycan returned to normal and a neointima formed. The neointima was thicker following balloon injury, but irrespective of the nature of the injury proteoglycan concentration was higher in the re-endothelialized than in non-reendothelialized areas. The alterations in extracellular proteoglycan of the intima-medial layers induced by these two forms of injury may influence the pattern of wound healing but are not associated with lipid deposition within the time frame examined.
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