The carotid bodies of rats made chronically hypoxic by breathing 12% O2 in a normobaric chamber (inspired PO2 91 mmHg) were compared with those of controls. Serial 5-microm sections of the organs were examined using an interactive image analysis system. The total volume of the carotid bodies was increased by 64%. The total vascular volume rose by 103% and was likely due to an increase in size of the large vessels (>12 microm lumen diameter) because the small vessel (5-12 microm lumen diameter) volume did not increase significantly while the small vessel density tended to decrease. The extravascular volume was increased by 57%. Expressed as a percentage of the total volume of the organ, the total vascular volume did not change, but the small vessel volume was significantly decreased from 7.83 to 6.06%. The large vessel volume must therefore have been increased. The proportion occupied by the extravascular volume was virtually unchanged (84 vs 82%). In accordance with these findings, the small vessel endothelial surface area per unit carotid body volume was diminished from 95.2 to 76.5 mm-1, while the extravascular area per small vessel was increased from 493 to 641 microm(2) or by 30%. In conclusion, the enlargement of the carotid body in chronic hypoxia is most likely due to an increase in total vascular volume, mainly involving the "large" vessels, and to an increase in extravascular volume. This is in contrast to our previously published findings indicating that in the spontaneous insulin-dependent diabetic rat the enlargement of the carotid body is due solely to an increase in extravascular volume.
|Number of pages
|Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas médicas e biológicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofísica ... [et al.]
|Published - 1 Mar 2000