Growth-related micromorphological characteristics of the porcine femoral artery
BACKGROUND:In cardiovascular research small pigs breeds like Göttingen® minipigs (GM) are established animal models, but systematic data about the micromorphology of the GM vasculature at different ages are scarce. OBJECTIVE:The study was aimed at gaining knowledge about the micromorphology of the femoral artery (FA) from German Landrace pigs (DL) and GM during the period of growth over a body weight range of 10-40 kg. METHODS:FA samples from DL aged two or three months were compared to GM ones, aged 18 or 40 months using transmitted light microscopy. RESULTS:All FA samples showed typical characteristics of muscular arteries. Growth was associated with increased vessel wall thickness. In the GM this resulted in a slight decrease of the luminal diameter (LD), while in the DL pigs, an increase of the LD and smooth muscle cell content (10%) with decreased elastic fiber content (10%) has been detected. In contrast, within the 22 months lasting growth period of the GM, the tunica media content of smooth muscle cells and elastic fibers remained stable. CONCLUSIONS:FA maturation strongly depends on the pig breed and age. It can be different from what is described in humans.
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