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Circ Res. 1988 Jan;62(1):56-64.

Mechanics of cerebral arterioles in hypertensive rats.

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Department of Pathology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.


Chronic hypertension is associated with hypertrophy of cerebral blood vessels. Previous studies of the mechanical properties of cerebral vessels in chronic hypertension have examined large cerebral arteries. The goals of this study were first to develop a method to examine vascular mechanics of cerebral arterioles in vivo and second to determine whether the stiffness of cerebral arterioles is altered in the presence of chronic hypertension. We calculated circumferential stress and strain of pial arterioles in age-matched, anesthetized stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) and in Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) from measurements of pial arteriolar pressure, inner diameter, and wall thickness. Pial arteriolar pressure was measured with a servonull system. Smooth muscle of pial arterioles was deactivated with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and pressure-diameter relations were examined during step-wise reductions in pressure. Prior to deactivation of smooth muscle in 3-4-month-old rats, pial arteriolar pressure was greater in SHRSP than in WKY (110 +/- 4 versus 75 +/- 2 mm Hg [mean +/- SE]; p less than 0.05). Pial arteriolar diameter, which was measured at prevailing levels of pial arteriolar pressure, was less in SHRSP than in WKY (52 +/- 5 versus 63 +/- 3 microns; p less than 0.05). Following deactivation of smooth muscle, diameter of pial arterioles at 70 mm Hg of pial arteriolar pressure was similar in the two groups: 104 +/- 6 microns in SHRSP and 109 +/- 3 microns in WKY (p greater than 0.05). Wall thickness was 4.5 +/- 0.2 microns in SHRSP and 4.1 +/- 0.1 microns in WKY (p greater than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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