Quantitative microcomputed tomography analysis of collateral vessel development after ischemic injury.

Duvall CL, Taylor WR, Weiss D, Guldberg RE
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004 287 (1): H302-10

PMID: 15016633 · DOI:10.1152/ajpheart.00928.2003

Transgenic mouse models are increasingly being used to investigate the functions of specific growth factors or matrix proteins to design therapeutic strategies for controlling blood vessel growth. However, the available methodologies for evaluating angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in these models are limited by animal size, user subjectivity, the power to visualize the three-dimensional vessel networks, or the capability to employ a vigorous quantitative analysis. In this study, we employed contrast-enhanced microcomputed tomography imaging to assess collateral development after induction of hindlimb ischemia in the mouse. The morphological parameters vessel volume, connectivity, number, thickness, thickness distribution, separation, and degree of anisotropy were evaluated in control and surgery limbs 0, 3, and 14 days postsurgery. Results indicate that the vascular volume of the surgically manipulated limb was reconstituted as early as 3 days after femoral artery excision through development of a series of highly connected, small caliber, closely spaced, and isotropically oriented collateral vessels. Parametric analyses were completed to assess the sensitivity of the calculated morphological parameters to variations in image binarization threshold and voxel size. Images taken at the 36-microm voxel size were found to be optimal for evaluating collateral vessel formation, whereas 8- to 16-microm voxel sizes were needed to resolve smaller vascular structures. This study demonstrates the utility of microcomputed tomography as a robust method for quantitative, three-dimensional analysis of blood vessel networks. Whereas these initial efforts focused on the mouse hindlimb ischemia model, the developed techniques may be applied to a variety of model systems to investigate mechanisms of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis.

MeSH Terms (13)

Animals Anisotropy Blood Vessels Collateral Circulation Contrast Media Hindlimb Ischemia Male Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Neovascularization, Physiologic Regional Blood Flow Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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