Title: Influence of species, environmental factors, and tissue cellularity on calcification of porcine aortic wall tissue
Authors: Meuris, Bart ×
Ozaki, S
Herijgers, Paul
Verbeken, Eric
Flameng, Willem #
Issue Date: Oct-2001
Series Title: Seminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery vol:13 issue:4 Suppl 1 pages:99-105
Abstract: Valve tissue calcification has complex host, implant, and mechanical determinants. We studied the influence of species (rat v sheep), environmental factors (presence v absence of blood contact and arterial stress), and tissue cellularity (normal v acellularized tissue) on porcine aortic wall mineralization. Porcine aortic wall samples underwent standard glutaraldehyde-fixation or combined enzyme-detergent acellularization. Samples were implanted subcutaneously in rats (n = 8) and in juvenile sheep (n = 8). Furthermore, in juvenile sheep, similar samples were implanted into the jugular vein (blood contact) and into the carotid artery (blood contact and arterial stress). After 8 and 12 weeks, tissue was explanted and evaluated by X-ray, light- and electron-microscopy, and calcium content measurement (atomic absorption spectrometry). On the Von Kossa staining, auto-fluorescence of elastic fibers was used to identify the relation between calcific deposits and elastin. Subcutaneously implanted, glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue calcified severely in rat, but much less in sheep (calcium content: 56.2 +/- 13.6 v 9.9 +/- 9.0 microg/mg, respectively; P <.001). In sheep, the presence of blood contact (venous implants) increased wall calcification significantly (36.9 +/- 15.8; P <.001), but hemodynamic stress (arterial implants) had no additional mineralizing effect on the aortic wall (P >.05 v venous implants). Calcification of glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue occurred predominantly at the level of cells and cellular remnants, as confirmed by electron- and fluorescence-microscopy, locating calcific deposits in between elastic fibers. Acellularized tissue calcified significantly less, but an inflammatory response towards the tissue led to fragmentation, lysis, and subsequent calcification of elastic fibers. Results from subcutaneous implantations show large inconsistencies in calcification between the species. In sheep, blood contact increases aortic wall calcification significantly, while arterial stress has no additional effect. The sheep-jugular implantation model can be used as a simplified model for further study of aortic wall calcification and new antimineralization treatments. Calcification of glutaraldehyde-fixed aortic wall tissue is initiated at the level of cellular remnants, with little or no contribution from elastic fibers. Acellularization can avoid this cell-mediated calcification, but an additional treatment (glutaraldehyde, cryopreservation, photo-fixation,.) will be necessary to avoid the inflammation leading to elastolysis and consequent calcification of elastic fibers.
ISSN: 1043-0679
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Experimental Cardiac Surgery
Translational Cell & Tissue Research
Clinical Cardiac Surgery
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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