Changes of zero-stress state of rat pulmonary arteries in hypoxic hypertension

Y. C. Fung*, S. Q. Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Zero-stress state of the main pulmonary arteries, from the main trunk to a vessel with a lumen diameter ~60 μm, was determined in 25 normal control and 38 hypoxic pulmonary hypertensive rats. Pulmonary hypertension was induced by placing the rats in a hypoxic chamber with 10% O2-90% N2 at atmospheric pressure. The zero-stress state of each vessel was obtained by first cutting the vessel transversely into a series of rings and then cutting each ring radially, whereupon the ring opened into a sector, which is characterized by an opening angle defined as the angle subtended between two lines originating from the midpoint of the inner wall (endothelium) to the tips of the inner wall. Whereas the pulmonary blood pressure increased monotonically during the development of pulmonary hypertension, the opening angle followed a different course; e.g., the values (means ± SD) of the opening angle at the pulmonary trunk at times 0 (control) and 2, 12, 28, 96, 144, 240, 480, and 720 h after exposure to hypoxia are, respectively, 294 ± 30°, 378 ± 24°, 385 ± 12°, 374 ± 11°, 246 ± 63°, 267 ± 49°, 193 ± 19°, 195 ± 83°, and 239 ± 38°. Trends at other places on the artery are similar, but the magnitudes differ. In this period of time, intimal edema and thickening were found. The intima media thickened rapidly from 48 to 240 h and then more slowly from 240 to 720 h. Adventitia thickened later; its thickness exceeded that of the intima media at ~96 h. Thus the changes of zero-stress state of the pulmonary arteries are seen to be related to the nonuniform remodeling of the vessel wall as revealed by the edema, blebs, and thickening of different layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2455-2470
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991


  • cellular proliferation
  • electron microscope
  • histological change
  • lung
  • mammalian
  • morphometry
  • nonuniform remodeling
  • opening angle
  • regional difference
  • residual strain
  • residual stress
  • species difference
  • stress-strain relationship
  • structure-function
  • tissue remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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