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Acta Biomater. 2016 Nov;45:296-302. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.08.045. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Hypertension-linked mechanical changes of rat gut.

Author information

1
J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.
2
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.
3
Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.
4
Department of Pharmacodynamics, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.
5
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States.
6
J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States; Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States; Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States. Electronic address: css@ufl.edu.

Abstract

Hypertension is the most prevalent risk factor for cardiovascular disease caused by a persistent increase in arterial blood pressure that has lasting effects on the mechanical properties of affected tissues like myocardium and blood vessels. Our group recently discovered that gut dysbiosis is linked to hypertension in several animal models and humans; however, whether hypertension influences the gut's mechanical properties remains unknown. In this study, we evaluated the hypothesis that hypertension increases fibrosis and thus mechanical properties of the gut. A custom indentation system was used to test colon samples from Wistar Kyoto (WKY) normotensive rats and Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR). Using force-displacement data, we derived an steady-state modulus metric to quantify mechanical properties of gastrointestinal tissue. We observed that SHR proximal colon has a mean steady-state modulus almost 3 times greater than WKY control rat colon (5.11±1.58kPa and 18.17±11.45kPa, respectively). These increases were associated with increase in vascular smooth muscle cells layer and collagen deposition in the intestinal wall in the SHR.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:

Mechanical characterization of biological materials can provide insight into health and disease of tissue. Recent investigations into a variety of cardiovascular pathologies show coincident changes in the microbiome and pathology of the gut. In this study, we sought to quantify changes in the gut in hypertension through mechanical characterization. Our methods and simple models for characterization, adapted from Hertz indentation models, prove useful to identify a meaningful steady-state modulus metric for small and irregular tissues from laboratory animals. Our data, for the first time, establish a stiffening of the gut wall in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. This observation suggests significant structural and functional changes in the gut correlate with hypertension, and future experiments are warranted to explore the specific causal relationship between dysbiosis, fibrosis, and stiffening in the gut during the development and maintenance of hypertension.

KEYWORDS:

Bowel mechanics; Colon; Gastrointestinal tissue mechanics; Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat; Viscoelasticity

PMID:
27567964
PMCID:
PMC5069177
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2016.08.045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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