Arteriosclerotic lesions have been produced in monkeys ( Macaca nemestrina ) by selective removal of the vascular endothelium with an intra-arterial balloon catheter. Immediately after de-endothelialization a platelet layer covers the denuded area. This thrombus is gradually removed and by 7 days the vessel appears to be largely reendothelialized. Beginning at day 4, smooth muscle cells undergo modification and migrate through fenestrae in the internal elastic lamina into the intima where they proliferate. By 28 days, the intimal lesion consists of multiple layers of smooth muscle cells surrounded by collagen and elastic fibers and basement-like material. After 3 months the lesions are markedly hyperplastic and contain new extracellular connective tissue elements. In contrast, with no further injury after 6 months the lesion has decreased markedly in size suggesting that it may be reversible in the absence of continued endothelial injury. The importance of endothelial "injury" exposing medial smooth muscle to plasma constituents may be the principal factors associated with the migration and proliferation of the smooth muscle cells into the intima resulting in the lesion. The smooth muscle cells do not contain lipid. The similarities of this lesion to the fibromusculo-elastic lesion or preatherosclerotic intimal hyperplasia in man makes it a useful model for the further study of atherosclerosis. Footnotes Submitted: 1 May 1972
The Journal of Experimental Medicine – Rockefeller University Press
Published: Oct 1, 1972
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