Effect of the shape and configuration of smooth muscle cells on the diffusion of ATP through the arterial wall.
In this study, the shape and the configuration of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) within the arterial wall are altered to investigate their influence on molecular transport across the media layer of the thoracic aorta wall. In a 2D geometry of the media layer containing SMCs, the finite-element method has been employed to simulate the diffusion of solutes through the media layer. The media is modeled as a heterogeneous system composed of SMCs having elliptic or circular cross sections embedded in a homogeneous porous medium made of proteoglycan and collagen fibers with an interstitial fluid filling the void. The arrangement of SMCs is in either ordered or disordered fashion for different volume fractions of SMCs. The interstitial fluid enters the media through fenestral pores, which are assumed to be distributed uniformly over the internal elastic lamina (IEL). Results revealed that in an ordered arrangement of SMCs, the concentration of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) over the surface of SMCs with an elliptic cross section is 5-8% more than those of circular SMCs in volume fractions of 0.4-0.7. The ATP concentration at the SMC surface decreases with volume fraction in the ordered configuration of SMCs. In a disordered configuration, the local ATP concentration at the SMC surface and in the bulk are strongly dependent on the distance between neighboring SMCs, as well as the minimum distance between SMCs and fenestral pores. Moreover, the SMCs in farther distances from the IEL are as important as those just beneath the IEL in disordered configurations. The results of this study lead us to better understanding of the role of SMCs in controlling the diffusion of important species such as ATP within the arterial wall.
Dabagh, M; Jalali, P; Sarkomaa, P
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