Elastin organization in pig and cardiovascular disease patients' pericardial resistance arteries

Maria Bloksgaard, Thomas Leurgans, Inger Nissen, Pia Søndergaard Jensen, Maria Lyck Hansen, Jonathan R. Brewer, Luis Bagatolli, Niels Marcussen, Akhmadjon Irmukhamedov, Lars Melholt Rasmussen, Jo G. R De Mey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Peripheral vascular resistance is increased in essential hypertension. This involves structural changes of resistance arteries and stiffening of the arterial wall, including remodeling of the extracellular matrix. We hypothesized that biopsies of the human parietal pericardium, obtained during coronary artery bypass grafting or cardiac valve replacement surgeries, can serve as a source of resistance arteries for structural research in cardiovascular disease patients. We applied two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy to study the parietal pericardium and isolated pericardial resistance arteries with a focus on the collagen and elastin components of the extracellular matrix. Initial findings in pig tissue were confirmed in patient biopsies. The microarchitecture of the internal elastic lamina in both the pig and patient pericardial resistance arteries (studied at a transmural pressure of 100 mm Hg) is fiber like, and no prominent external elastic lamina could be observed. This microarchitecture is very different from that in rat mesenteric arteries frequently used for resistance artery research. In conclusion, we add three-dimensional information on the structure of the extracellular matrix in resistance arteries from cardiovascular disease patients and propose further use of patient pericardial resistance arteries for studies of the human microvasculature. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Vascular Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Elastin
  • Collagen
  • Remodelling
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Remodeling
  • Species Specificity
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries/ultrastructure
  • Swine
  • Extracellular Matrix/chemistry
  • Female
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Coronary Vessels/ultrastructure
  • Elastic Tissue/ultrastructure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism
  • Rats
  • Elastin/analysis
  • Pericardium
  • Sus scrofa/anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Aged


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