Alterations in structure of elastic laminae of rat pulmonary arteries in hypoxic hypertension

S. Q. Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The effect of hypoxic hypertension on the remodeling process of the elastic laminae of the rat hilar pulmonary arteries (PAs) was studied by electron microscopy. Rats were exposed to hypoxia (10% O2) for periods of 0.5, 2, 6, 12, 48, 96, 144, and 240 h. Changes in the structure of the PA elastic laminae were examined and analyzed with respect to changes in the PA wall tensile stress. The PA blood pressure increased rapidly within the first several hours of hypoxia and reached a stable level within 2 days, whereas the PA wall tensile stress increased initially due to elevated blood pressure and then decreased after 48 h due to vessel wall thickening and returned to the control level after 4 days. In association with these changes, the elastic laminae, which appeared homogeneous in normal control rats, changed into structures composed of randomly oriented filaments and edematous contents with an increase in the volume during the early period of hypoxia and regained their homogeneous appearance and normal volume after 4 days. The changes in the elastic laminae were correlated with changes in the tensile stress. These changes were associated with a transient decrease in the stiffness of the PAs. In hypoxic rats given nifedipine, no change was found in the blood pressure, the tensile stress, or the structure of the elastic laminae of the PAs despite continuous exposure to hypoxia. These results suggested that altered tensile stress in the PA wall played a critical role in the initiation and regulation of structural changes in the elastic laminae and that these changes might contribute to alterations in the mechanical properties of the PA in hypoxic hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2155
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • elastic laminae
  • hypoxic hypertension
  • mechanical stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Alterations in structure of elastic laminae of rat pulmonary arteries in hypoxic hypertension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this