Spontaneous injuries in the aortic endothelium of the inherited cataract rats and their prevention by tocopherol A study by scanning electron microscopy

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      The aortic endothelium of inherited cataract rats (ICR), which spontaneously develop cataracts and neutrophilia, was examined by scanning electron microscopy using silver nitrate staining and pressure fixation. In ICR aged 4 weeks, the luminal surface of the aorta was similar to that in Wistar rats from which they had been derived. However, 8 weeks after birth, endothelial cells were upraised and partially detached from an underlying tissue. At 16 weeks, morphological changes exhibited by such detaching cells were more evident than at 8 weeks and fibrin was seen to be adhering to the surface of these cells; no platelet involvement was noted, however. Oral administration of DL-a-tocopheryl acetate for 2 weeks resulted in a reduction in the extent of endothelial injury and the luminal surface of the aorta became similar to that seen in 4- or 8-week-old animals. We found that the number of age-associated spontaneous injuries occurring in the aortic endothelium of ICR could be reduced by tocopherol administration.


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