Highly reproducible rat arterial injury model of neointimal hyperplasia

Richard P. Tan, Jui Chien Hung, Alex H.P. Chan, Angus J. Grant, Matthew J. Moore, Yuen Ting Lam, Praveesuda Michael, Steven G. Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Models of arterial injury in rodents have been invaluable to our current understanding of vessel restenosis and play a continuing role in the development of endovascular interventions for cardiovascular disease. Mechanical distention of the vessel wall and denudation of the vessel endothelium are the two major modes of vessel injury observed in most clinical pathologies and are critical to the reproducible modelling of progressive neointimal hyperplasia. The current models which have dominated this research area are the mouse wire carotid or femoral injury and the rat carotid balloon injury. While these elicit simultaneous distension of the vessel wall and denudation of the luminal endothelium, each model carries limitations that need to be addressed using a complementary injury model. Wire injuries in mice are highly technical and procedurally challenging due to small vessel diameters, while rat balloon injuries require permanent blood vessel ligation and disruption of native blood flow. Complementary models of vascular injury with reproducibility, convenience, and increased physiological relevance to the pathophysiology of endovascular injury would allow for improved studies of neointimal hyperplasia in both basic and translational research. In this study, we developed a new surgical model that elicits vessel distention and endothelial denudation injury using sequential steps using microforceps and a standard needle catheter inserted via arteriotomy into a rat common carotid artery, without requiring permanent ligation of branching arteries. After 2 weeks post-injury this model elicits highly reproducible neointimal hyperplasia and rates of re-endothelialisation similar to current wire and balloon injury models. Furthermore, evaluation of the smooth muscle cell phenotype profile, inflammatory response and extracellular matrix within the developing neointima, showed that our model replicated the vessel remodelling outcomes critical to restenosis and those becoming increasingly focused upon in the development of new anti-restenosis therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0290342
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

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