NYMC Faculty Publications

From Newborn to Senescence Morphological and Functional Remodeling Leads to Increased Contractile Capacity of Arteries

Journal Title

The Journals of Ferontology.Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences

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Publication Date

April 2017




Aging induces substantial morphological and functional changes in vessels. We hypothesized that due to morphological remodeling the total contractile forces of arteries increase, especially in older age as a function of age. Mean arterial blood pressure of rats and morphological and functional characteristics of isolated carotid arteries rats, from newborn to senescent, were assessed. The arterial blood pressure of rats increased significantly from 0.25 to the age of 6 months, and then it reached a level, which was maintained until age of 30 months. Wall lumen and wall thickness increased with age, mostly due to media (smooth muscle) thickening, whereas wall tension gradually reduced with age. Contractions of arteries to nonreceptor-mediated vasomotor agent (KCl, 60mM) increased in three consecutive age groups, whereas contractility first increased (until 2 months), then it did not change further with aging. Norepinephrine-induced contractions initially increased in young age and then did not change further in older age. These findings suggest that during normal aging due to remodeling of arterial wall (smooth muscle) the contractile capacity of arteries increases, which seems to be independent from systemic blood pressure. Thus, arterial remodeling can favor the development of increased circulatory resistance in older age.