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Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 350, Issue 3, pp 241–248 | Cite as

Cardiac hypertrophy in the first generation of rats native to simulated high altitude

Muscle fiber diameter and diffusion distance in the right and left ventricle
  • M. Grandtner
  • Z. Turek
  • F. Kreuzer
Article

Summary

In rats born and staying their whole life at a simulated altitude of 3500 m a severe cardiac hypertrophy develops which is most pronounced in the right ventricle. On histological sections muscle fiber and capillary densities were counted and the surfaces occupied by muscle fibers and capillaries in the slides were estimated. Mean muscle fiber diameter and half mean distance between capillaries (diffusion distance) were obtained in the heart ventricles and were compared with those of control animals. In both ventricles an increase of the mean muscle fiber diameter occurred (true hypertrophy), being more pronounced in the right ventricle. We cannot tell whether also hyperplasia of muscle fibers occurred or not. The diffusion distance in the left ventricle of rats exposed to hypoxia was about the same as in control animals but was shorter in the right ventricle. This indicates that the total number of capillaries is higher in both ventricles of rats born in the low pressure chamber (hyperplasia of the capillaries). The shortening of the diffusion distance in the right ventricle of rats born and living their whole life at simulated high altitude was on the average smaller than that of rats exposed to simulated high altitude later in life. The physiological importance of this observation is discussed.

Key words

Cardiac Hypertrophy Diffusion Distance of Oxygen High Altitude Rat 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Grandtner
    • 1
  • Z. Turek
    • 1
  • F. Kreuzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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