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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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      Abstract

      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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