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Cell Mol Bioeng. 2012 Dec 1;5(4):474-487.

Alterations in Pulse Pressure Affect Artery Function.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at San Antonio, China ; Biomedical Engineering Program, UTSA-UTHSCSA, China.


Pulse pressure changes in response to cardiovascular diseases and interventions, but its effect on vascular wall structure and function is poorly understood. We examined the effect of increased or decreased pulse pressure on artery function, cellular function, and extracellular matrix remodeling. Porcine carotid arteries were cultured under non-pulsatile (100 mmHg), pulsatile (70-130 mmHg), or hyper-pulsatile pressure (50-150 mmHg) for 1 to 3 days. Vasomotor response, wall permeability, cell proliferation, apoptosis, extracellular matrix remodeling, and proteins involved in atherogenesis were examined. Our results showed that hyper-pulsatile pressure decreased the artery response to sodium nitroprusside, basal tone, and wall permeability after three days. Non-pulsatile pressure increased cell proliferation. Neither hyper-pulsatile nor non-pulsatile pressure caused a change in the extracellular matrix or in the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, caveolin-1, or α-actin. Hyper-pulsatile pressure increased monocyte chemotactic protein-1 gene expression. Taken together, these changes indicate that pulse pressure has a limited effect on the artery immediately after its application. Specifically an increase in pulse pressure alters the artery tone and wall permeability while a decrease in pulse pressure alters cell proliferation. Overall these results provide insight into how the artery initially responds to changes in pulse pressure.

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