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Densitometric measurement of increased endothelial permeability in arteriosclerotic plaques and inhibition of permeability under the influence of two calcium antagonists

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      Abstract

      A densitometric technique was established to investigate quantitative changes in endothelial permeability for horseradish peroxidase (HRP), mol. wt. 40000 daltons, in rabbit carotid artery. Repeated weak electrical stimulations of rabbit carotid arterial walls with implanted electrodes lead to fibromuscular plaques mainly beneath the anode. It could be demonstrated that there exists a typical growth curve of the plaques dependent on the number of days of electrostimulation, with a fast proliferation rate of smooth muscle cells in the first 2 weeks of electrostimulation, and an increasing retardation of proliferation during the next 4 weeks. Endothelial permeability for HRP increases in close relation to the plaque development. Intravenous applications of single doses of the calcium entry blockers flunarizine or nimodipine are able to inhibit the increased permeability of the endothelial lining covering arteriosclerotic plaques. The intensity of the inhibitory action of these calcium antagonists correlates with the size of the arteriosclerotic plaques in inverse proportion, but nevertheless in large plaques an inhibitory effect is seen.

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