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Anat Histol Embryol. 2005 Apr;34(2):105-11.

Histological basis of the porcine femoral artery for vascular research.

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Institut de Malalties Cardiovasculars, IDIBAPS (Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques Agustí Pi Sunyer), Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain.


The similarities between the porcine and human cardiovascular systems make the pig a useful animal model for the study of vascular biology. However, a standardized method is needed to describe the normal histological properties of porcine arteries in order to evaluate pathologic lesions in future studies. Descriptive and morphometric analyses were done on 16 porcine femoral arteries. For these purposes, three histological stains (haematoxylin eosin, Masson's trichrome, and orcein), four immunohistochemical methods (using antibodies anti-alpha-actin, anti-CD3, anti-L1 and anti-lysozyme), and a glycohistochemical method (using Dolichos biflorus lectin) were performed. The porcine femoral arteries evaluated had a mean total area of 6.25 +/- 1.99 mm(2) and a diameter of 2.79 +/- 0.41 mm. The majority of the total area was occupied by the medial layer (42.97 +/- 5.38%) and was mainly constituted by smooth muscle cells (94.58 +/- 2.65%). All the cell markers used reacted with porcine paraffin-embedded tissue. However, the anti-lysozyme antibody was excluded from this histological analysis because of cytoplasmatic reactivity in smooth muscle cells. In summary, this study proposes histological methods to describe the normal characteristics of the porcine femoral artery and raises the possibility of applying this methodology in future studies on porcine vascular research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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