Association between secondary flow in models of the aorto-celiac junction and subendothelial macrophages in the normal rabbit.
In order to examine the association between arterial fluid dynamics and the distribution of subendothelial macrophages in the normal rabbit aorta, steady and pulsatile particle flow visualization was performed in a geometrically realistic model of the rabbit aorto-celiac junction region. Over a range of aorto-celiac steady flow ratios, particle pathlines along the upstream lateral aortic walls curved to enter the celiac orifice, while two asymmetric regions of reversing spiral secondary flow originated along the downstream lateral portions of the orifice flow divider. These regions increased in size as either the Reynolds number or flow into the celiac artery increased. In pulsatile flow studies, particles along the lateral aortic walls near the celiac orifice began to spiral into the branch during peak systole. During systolic deceleration, the size of this spiral flow region increased as particles reversed direction to enter the celiac orifice. This contrasted with flow patterns directly upstream and downstream of the orifice, which remained unidirectional throughout this period even along the distal lip of the orifice. The highest frequency of subendothelial white blood cells in the normal rabbit aorta was associated with regions where secondary flow patterns occurred, and where the orientation of endothelial cell nuclei deviated from the major direction of aortic flow. Secondary flow patterns may aid the accumulation of monocytes and macrophages about the lateral regions of the celiac artery flow divider by transporting monocytes to the walls, allowing them time to attach to the endothelial cells, or by stimulating the endothelial cells to express leukocyte adhesion molecules. These same regions are associated with increased endothelial permeability to low density lipoprotein and, under hypercholesterolemic conditions, lesion origination.
Malinauskas, RA; Sarraf, P; Barber, KM; Truskey, GA
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