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Microcirculation. 2005 Apr-May;12(3):259-74.

Microvascular thrombosis models in venules and arterioles in vivo.

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Medical Care Line, Michael E. DeBakey V.A. Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


Platelets are intimately involved in hemostasis and thrombosis. Under physiological conditions, circulating platelets do not interact with microvascular walls. However, in response to microvascular injury, platelet adhesion and subsequent thrombus formation may be observed in venules and arterioles in vivo. Numerous intravital video microscopy techniques have been described to induce and monitor the formation of microvascular thrombi. The mechanisms of microvascular injury vary widely among different models. Some models induce platelet activation with minimal effects on endothelium, others induce endothelial inflammation or injury, while other models lead to thrombus formation associated with endothelial denudation. The molecular mechanisms mediating platelet-vessel wall adhesive interactions differ among various models. In some instances, differences in responses between venules and arterioles are described that cannot be explained solely by hemodynamic factors. Several models for induction of microvascular thrombosis in vivo are outlined in this review, with a focus on the mechanisms of injury and thrombus formation, as well as on differences in responses between venules and arterioles. Recognizing these characteristics should help investigators select an appropriate model for studying microvascular thrombosis in vivo.

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