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    Transport of macromolecules between plasma and the arterial wall plays a key role in atherogenesis. Scattered hotspots of elevated endothelial permeability to macromolecules occur in the aorta; a fraction of them are associated with dividing cells. Hotspots occur particularly frequently downstream of branch points, where lesions develop in young rabbits and children. However, the pattern of lesions varies with age, and can be explained by similar variation in the pattern of macromolecule uptake. We investigated whether patterns of hotspots and mitosis also change with age. Evans' Blue dye-labeled albumin was injected intravenously into immature or mature rabbits and its subsequent distribution in the aortic wall around intercostal branch ostia examined by confocal microscopy and automated image analysis. Mitosis was detected by immunofluorescence after adding 5-bromo-2-deoxiuridine to drinking water. Hotspots were most frequent downstream of branches in immature rabbits, but a novel distribution was observed in mature rabbits. Neither pattern was explained by mitosis. Hotspot uptake correlated spatially with the much greater non-hotspot uptake (p < 0.05), and the same pattern was seen when only the largest hotspots were considered. The pattern of hotspots changes with age. The data are consistent with there being a continuum of local permeabilities rather than two distinct mechanisms. The distribution of the dye, which binds to elastin and collagen, was similar to that of non-binding tracers and to lesions apart from a paucity at the lateral margins of branches that can be explained by lower levels of fibrous proteins in those regions. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


    K Yean Chooi, Andrew Comerford, Stephanie J Cremers, Peter D Weinberg. Role of endothelial permeability hotspots and endothelial mitosis in determining age-related patterns of macromolecule uptake by the rabbit aortic wall near branch points. Atherosclerosis. 2016 Jul;250:77-83

    PMID: 27182961

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