Basic Research in Cardiology

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 120–129 | Cite as

Tunnel capillaries in hypertrophied myocardium of rats with aorto-caval fistula

  • A. Ratajska
  • E. Fiejka
  • M. Maksymowicz
  • Z. Gawlik
Original Contributions


Male inbred rats (Wag) with aorto-caval fistula were used as a model of volume-overloaded heart hypertrophy. Hearts were taken after 1, 2, and 6 months postoperatively for immunohistochemical, histological and ultrastructural investigations. Immunohistochemical staining with some anti-extracellular matrix antibodies and ultrastructural findings allowed us to recognize intracardiocytic tunnels which were intracellular invaginations of plasmalemma surrounded by basement membrane. Inside the tunnels endothelial cells forming well-developed capillaries were entrapped. Tunnel capillary formation is discussed as an adaptive response to increased cardiac work due to volume overload.

Key words

Volume overload heart hypertrophy fibronectin laminin tunnel capillaries 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ratajska
    • 1
  • E. Fiejka
    • 1
  • M. Maksymowicz
    • 2
  • Z. Gawlik
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathological AnatomyMedical Academy of WarsawWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of OncologyWarsawPoland

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