Adaptive microvascular changes to increased arterial pressure were investigated in the intestine of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). In 4- to 5-week-old normal Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and SHR rats, as well as in 18- to 21-week-old WKY rats, the number of arterloles of a given type per milligram of tissue were very similar. However, 18- to 21-week-old SHR had 30% to 35% fewer arterioles in the diameter range of 25-35 μ, as if intestinal vessels were lost or failed to grow during maturation. The largest and smallest arterioles in the intestine of adult SHR were constricted by 20% to 25%, but other vessels in the SHR had an equal or increased diameter relative to those in WKY rats. As a result of rarefaction and selective vasoconstriction in SHR, microvascular pressures in the intestinal muscle of SHR were near those in WKY rats, and those in villi of SHR were equal to those in WKY rats despite a 60% to 70% increase in mean arterial pressure in SHR. The percentage of small arterioles (<15 μ) that were intermittently closed to flow at rest was minimal, and the total number of small vessels per milligram of tissue was equal in WKY and SH rats. These data indicate that the adaptive changes in the intestinal vasculature of SHR do not include the loss of small arterioles as occurs in skeletal muscle but that the vascular branching pattern is disturbed, and the largest and smallest arterioles are constricted in the intestine of SHR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine