Venous vessel wall
Intimal fibrous thickening
Cellular fibrous proliferation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The present study examined the intimal reactions of rabbit jugular veins to a stimulus known to elicit arteriosclerotic alteration in the artery wall. Repeated transmural electrical stimulation was applied to external jugular veins of both normo- and hypercholesterolaemic rabbits. Endothelial permeability, as well as changes in intimal architecture, were investigated by electron microscopy. Initially, the veins responded to electrical stimulation with an increased transendothelial transport of horseradish peroxidase (40000 daltons). After application of the stimulation program for 4 weeks, intimal fibrous thickening (33%), cellular fibrous proliferation (50%), and organized mural thrombi were observed. The fibrous thickening was characterized by an abundance of connective tissue matrix and paucity of subendothelial cells. The cellular fibrous proliferate predominantly consisted of myocytes with few interspersed monocytes/macrophages and granulocytes. It resembled intimal plaques induced in carotid arteries by the same method. However, the venous thickenings showed limited size and a more pronounced fibrous response when compared with the arteriosclerotic lesions. The morphological similarities between the observed venous intimal thickenings and the different types of phlebosclerotic manifestations described in the literature, especially intimal proliferations in vein grafts, render the model of electrical stimulation suitable for the elucidation of underlying pathogenic mechanisms.
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