Proteoglycan distribution in rat aortic wall following indwelling catheter injury
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The morphologic response of the aortic wall of the normal fed rat to intimal injury by an indwelling catheter in place for 3 weeks was examined at the time of removal of the catheter and 4, 8, and 26 weeks later. Changes in the concentration of glycosaminoglycan were assayed morphometrically in ruthenium red-stained sections examined by transmission electron microscopy. Two types of ruthenium red-positive granules were identified in the intercellular matrix; large (greater than 20 nm), containing chondroitin sulphate and small (less than 20 nm) containing heparan sulphate. Endothelial denudation and some thrombus seen at the time of removal of the catheter, was associated with a decrease in the concentrations of both types of granules in the subendothelial space compared to normal rats. At later time intervals there was neointimal thickening containing no lipid, and occasional small areas of lipid accumulation. Compared to normal rats there was no significant change in granule concentration in the subendothelial space at any time interval. There was a slight increase in the concentration of large granules of the deep neointima at the time of removal of the catheter and after 4 weeks. In lipid-containing areas there was a highly significant increase in large granule concentrations compared to normal or to intimal thickening without lipid. The observations support the possibility that lipid accumulation is related to an increase in glycosaminoglycan concentration.
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