Endothelium-mediated relaxation in transplanted aorta
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This study compares the vasodilating effect of endothelium-derived relaxing factors (EDRFs) in free arterial grafts with that in their normal control vessels. The infrarenal aorta of Sprague-Dawley rats was transplanted into the same position in other inbred recipient rats. A Krebs buffer solution (4 degrees C) served as the preservation solution. The ischemic time for the grafts (n = 8) was 42 +/- 1 minutes. Two grafts were studied after 3 days and six grafts, after 60 days. Ring segments were cut from all vessels, and isometric contractions were recorded in organ baths. The vessel segments were constricted with noradrenaline, a thromboxane A2 mimic (U-46619), or prostaglandin F2 alpha. Concentration-response curves with acetylcholine, which was used as the endothelium-stimulating substance causing release of EDRFs, were obtained. The patency of the grafts was 100%. Acetylcholine induced relaxation in all vessel segments with intact intima, whereas no relaxation was seen when the endothelium was manually removed. No significant differences were found between the grafts and the normal control vessels. Histology of the 60-day grafts showed elastomuscular arteries without intimal thickening and a media consisting of eight to ten muscle layers interrupted by five to six elastic lamellae. Scanning electron microscopy showed no major differences between normal endothelium and the endothelium of 3-day or 60-day grafts. This study indicates that free elastomuscular arterial grafts, in which the morphology of the intima is preserved, will retain their full ability to release EDRFs.