Factors involved in capillary growth in the heart

  • Olga Hudlická
  • Margaret D. Brown
  • Helene Walter†
  • Jacqueline B. Weiss
  • Anita Bate
Part of the Developments in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry book series (DMCB, volume 14)


Growth of capillaries in the heart occurs under physiological circumstances during endurance exercise training, exposure to high altitude and/or cold, and changes in cardiac metabolism or heart rate elicited by modification of thyroid hormone levels. Capillary growth in all these conditions can be linked with increased coronary blood flow, decreased heart rate, or both. This paper brings evidence that, although increased blood flow due to long-term administration of coronary vasodilators results in capillary growth, a long-term decrease in heart rate induced by electrical bradycardial pacing in rabbits and pigs, or by chronic administration of a bradycardic drug, alinidine, in rats, stimulates capillary growth with little or no change in coronary blood flow. Decreased heart rate results in increased capillary wall tension, increased end-diastolic volume and increased force of contraction, and thus stretch of the capillary wall. This could lead to release of various growth factors possibly stored in the capillary basement membrane. Correlation was found between capillary density (CD) and the levels of low molecular endothelial cell stimulating angiogenic factor (ESAF) both in rabbit and pig hearts with CD increased by pacing. There was no relation between expression of mRNA for basic fibroblast growth factor and CD in sham-operated and paced rabbit hearts. In contrast, mRNA for TGFβ was increased in paced hearts, and the possible role of this factor in the regulation of capillary growth induced by bradycardia is discussed. (Mol Cell Biochem 147: 57–68, 1995)

Key words

angiogenesis capillaries heart exercise bradycardia vasodilation mechanical factors growth factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Hudlická
    • 2
  • Margaret D. Brown
    • 3
  • Helene Walter†
    • 4
  • Jacqueline B. Weiss
    • 1
  • Anita Bate
    • 1
  1. 1.Wolfson Angiogenesis Unit, Hope HospitalUniversity of ManchesterSalfordUK
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Birmingham Medical School, University of ManchesterSalford M6UK
  3. 3.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Chemistry, Wolfson Research LaboratoryQueen Elizabeth HospitalBirminghamUK

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