Production of Mucopolysaccharides, Collagen and Elastic Tissue by Aortic Medial Explants
Early atherosclerotic lesions consist mainly of smooth muscle cells and extracellular substances, the principal constituents of which are mucopolysaccharides, collagen, and elastic tissue. Varying amounts of intracellular and extracellular lipids are present. In the late phase of the disease the lesion is complicated by necrosis, hemorrhage, and calcification (Daoud et al., 1964; Haust et al., 1960; Geer et al., 1961). The role of the extracellular substances in the progression of the lesion and the occurrence of complications is not clear. One can postulate that the presence of large amounts of these substances in the lesion leads to an increase in its size and encroachment upon the lumen. It is also possible that these substances may influence the accumulation of lipids in the atheroma, thus aggravating the atherosclerotic process. On the other hand, the presence of collagen and elastic tissue may be beneficial in preventing extensive necrosis or in causing healing of necrotic lesions.
KeywordsCholesterol Filtration Citrate Toluene Polysaccharide
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