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Online ISSN 1827-1847
Nardo B., Catena F., Cavallari G., Turi P., De Vincentis F., Giordano R. °, Pasquinelli G. *, Faenza A., Cavallari A.
From the Surgical Clinic II (Head: Prof. A. Cavallari)
* Department of Biochemistry (Head: Prof. L. Masotti)
** Institute of Electron Microscopy (Head: Prof. M. Derenzini)
University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Background and aim. Few and controversial data are reported in the literature regarding the effects of endothelium-mediated vasoregulation of solutions with differing potassium contents. A number of works have shown that low potassium concentrations are more effective for the short- and long-term preservation of arteries. Other studies have suggested that the high K+ content of UW solution might alter the balance between the different vasoactive substances produced by vascular endothelium. Endothelial cells release vasoactive substances that exercise the main effects on local vasoregulation. These include the capacity to release smooth muscle cells and the inhibition of platelet adhesion and aggregration. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in the morphology and function of rat aorta samples preserved at 4°C for varying periods of time in two solutions: one with a high potassium concentration (UW) and the other with a low potassium content (Celsior).
Methods. Male Wistar rats were used, weighing between 220-250 grams, kept in standard conditions and fed on a free diet. Under general anesthesia with ether, the thoracic aorta was removed, after lavage in situ through the abdominal aorta with 10 cc of UW or Celsior solution. Morphological analysis was performed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Vasomotor function was evaluated by recording the isometric tension of the aortic segments exposed to adrenergic and acetylcholinergic stimuli, respectively contracting and dilatating the vessel. The results obtained were analysed using Student’s “t” test for unpaired data and variance analysis followed by Bonferroni’s post -test.
Results. No significant morphofunctional difference was observed in the aorta segments preserved in either solution for 48 hours. On the contrary, greater morphological and functional alterations were found after 72 hours in aorta segments preserved at 4°C in UW compared to those kept in Celsior solution.
Conclusions. For relatively long periods (72 hours), Celsior solution, with a low potassium concentration, should be preferred to hyperpotassic UW solution because it is more effective in protecting endothelial function and the reactivity of the smooth muscle component.
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