Venous neointimal hyperplasia (VNH) at the outflow vein of hemodialysis AVF is a major factor contributing to failure. CorMatrix is an extracellular matrix that has been used in cardiovascular procedures primarily as scaffolding during surgery. In the present study, we sought to determine whether CorMatrix wrapped around the outflow vein of arteriovenous fistula (AVF) at the time of creation could reduce VNH. In mice, the carotid artery to the ipsilateral jugular vein was connected to create an AVF, and CorMatrix scaffold was wrapped around the outflow vein compared to control mice that received no scaffolding. Immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and qRT-PCR were performed on the outflow vein at 7 and 21 days after AVF creation. In outflow veins treated with CorMatrix, there was an increase in the mean lumen vessel area with a decrease in the ratio of neointima area/media + adventitia area (P < 0.05). Furthermore, there was a significant increase in apoptosis, with a reduction in cell density and proliferation in the outflow veins treated with CorMatrix compared to controls (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed a significant reduction in fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, macrophages, and leukocytes with a reduction in Tnf-α gene expression (P < 0.05). In conclusion, outflow veins treated with CorMatrix have reduced VNH.
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