To determine the time course of the return of endothelium-dependent relaxations and contractions during intimal regeneration, we performed balloon endothelial denudation of the thoracic and abdominal aorta of male Lewis rats and examined smooth muscle function and endothelium-dependent responses in vitro at 1, 2, 4, and 8 weeks after aortic injury. At each study interval during endothelial cell regeneration, vascular smooth muscle contracted and relaxed normally to direct stimulation with norepinephrine and sodium nitroprusside. Endothelium-dependent contractions to serotonin returned to normal at 1 week and developed into a hypercontractile response at 8 weeks. Endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine returned to normal at 8 weeks, but endothelium-dependent relaxations to adenosine diphosphate remained impaired. These experiments demonstrate that regenerating endothelium regains the ability to produce contracting factor before relaxing factor, and it even exhibits potentiated contractile activity 8 weeks after injury. Thus, after direct arterial injury, regenerating endothelium has abnormal endothelium-dependent function that predisposes the vessel to vasospasm and thrombosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine