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Int Angiol. 2012 Feb;31(1):62-9.

Remodeling of rabbit abdominal aorta and Cx43 gap junctions after stent placement: effect of balloon injury plus cholesterol-enriched diet.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



To examine the effect of stenting and cholesterol-enriched diet (CED) on vascular remodeling, including the expression of connexin43 (Cx43) gap junctions in smooth muscle cells (SMC).


Rabbits abdominal aortae were either implanted stent made of 316 stainless steel (group 1) or denuded followed by stent placement 28 days later (groups 2 and 3). Animals were given normal chow except those of group 3, which were fed CED after the denudation. Eight weeks later, the development of neointima and the expression of connexin43 (Cx43) were examined. In parallel, human aortic SMC were grown on 316 stainless steel or treated with C-reactive protein (CRP) followed by analysis of Cx43.


The results showed that, serum CRP levels became transiently elevated after denudation and stent implantation. For the stented aortic segments, the dimensions of neointima were group 3 > group 2 > group 1 (P<0.05). In groups 1 and 2, Cx43 gap junctions are less in amount in neointima of the stented segment, compared to the unstented upstream neointima or medial layer (all P<0.01). In culture experiments, Cx43 in SMC grown on stent material was up-regulated in growth medium but down-regulated in differentiation medium, and CRP did not affect Cx43 expression.


Vascular remodeling post stent implantation varied according to the presence of balloon injury, CED, or both. Cx43 expression in SMC is altered after exposure to stent and the regulation depended on the milieu.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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