Smooth muscle cell proliferation in the occluded rat carotid artery: lack of requirement for luminal platelets.
The relationship of intimal smooth muscle cell proliferation in the permanently occluded rat carotid artery to the presence or absence of luminal platelets was examined. Blood was rinsed from the arterial lumen immediately after occlusion and was replaced by autologous, citrated platelet-rich plasma (PRP, 6 to 20 X 10(5) platelets/microliter) or filtered platelet-poor plasma (PPP, less than 100 platelets/microliter). Occluded arteries were studied after 1 to 28 days by light and electron microscopy. Events occurring within the first 2 days included fibrin clot formation, endothelial degeneration and denudation, transmural migration of polymorphonucelar leukocytes and monocytes, and, in PRP-filled arteries, degranulation and disappearance of platelets. By 7 days a neointima was formed by macrophages and undifferentiated cells. The latter cells had some features of vascular smooth muscle cells and were apparently derived from medial cells which traversed the internal elastic lamina. After 14 days, identifiable smooth muscle cells emerged as the predominant cell type in a rapidly growing intimal plaque. No differences could be discerned between arteries originally filled with PRP or PPP. This experimental model is similar to atherosclerosis in dimensions of avascular area and in coexistence of degenerative, inflammatory, and proliferative processes. Cell proliferation deep within an atherosclerotic plaque could be initiated by factors other than platelets, perhaps by products of inflammatory cells.
Guyton, JR; Karnovsky, MJ
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