Elastase-like enzyme in the aorta of spontaneously hypertensive rats
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In an attempt to obtain information regarding vascular elastase in arterial hypertension, we examined biochemical changes in elastase-like enzyme activity, and the intravascular localization of elastase by immunohistochemical techniques in the aorta of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). In the biochemical study, aortic elastase-like enzyme activity was significantly higher in SHR than in controls. Using an antibody against rat pancreatic elastase raised in the rabbit, it was demonstrated immunohistochemically that the enzyme was localized in the endothelial cells and subendothelial spaces in the aorta of control animals. In SHR, elastase was also demonstrated in medial smooth muscle cells and particularly in the modified smooth muscle cells in areas of intimai thickening. Some vacuoles in the smooth muscle cells also showed positive enzyme staining. Elastase seems to play an important role in the development of hypertensive vascular changes.
Key wordsElastase-like enzyme Aorta Spontaneously hypertensive rats
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