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Angiology. 1992 Mar;43(3 Pt 1):211-8.

Fine structures around the orifice of the intercostal artery of the rabbit thoracic aorta.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Saga Medical School, Japan.

Abstract

In hypercholesterolemic rabbits, atherosclerotic lesions easily occur in the thoracic aorta, especially at the distal and lateral sides of the walls around the orifices of the dorsal intercostal arteries. In order to examine whether some special structures that lead to atherosclerotic lesions are present even in normal conditions, the authors investigated the morphologic features around the orifice of the intercostal artery of 20 normal rabbit aortae under electron microscopy. The endothelial cells were generally fusiform but tended to be round and have a cobblestone-like appearance at the lateral side. There was intimal protrusion at the distal and lateral sides of the orifice, where the distribution and arrangement of elastic fibers and smooth muscle cells were different from those at the proximal side. At the proximal edge of the orifice, elastic fibers formed a thick plate-like internal elastic lamina beneath the endothelial cells. On the other hand, at the distal and lateral sides, elastic fibers formed close-meshed structures over the proper plate-like internal elastic lamina. These results indicate that the aortic walls at the distal and lateral sides of the orifice are structurally different from those at other regions even in normal conditions and suggest the involvement of special structures at the distal and lateral sides of the orifice in atherogenesis.

PMID:
1575369
DOI:
10.1177/000331979204300306
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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