Micro-computed tomographic analysis of the radial geometry of intrarenal artery-vein pairs in rats and rabbits: Comparison with light microscopy

Jennifer P. Ngo, Bianca Le, Zohaib Khan, Michelle M. Kett, Bruce S Gardiner, David W. Smith, Mayer M. Melhem, Anton Maksimenko, James T. Pearson, Roger G. Evans

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Abstract

We assessed the utility of synchrotron-radiation micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) for quantification of the radial geometry of the renal cortical vasculature. The kidneys of nine rats and six rabbits were perfusion fixed and the renal circulation filled with Microfil. In order to assess shrinkage of Microfil, rat kidneys were imaged at the Australian Synchrotron immediately upon tissue preparation and then post fixed in paraformaldehyde and reimaged 24 hours later. The Microfil shrank only 2-5% over the 24 hour period. All subsequent micro-CT imaging was completed within 24 hours of sample preparation. After micro-CT imaging, the kidneys were processed for histological analysis. In both rat and rabbit kidneys, vascular structures identified in histological sections could be identified in two-dimensional (2D) micro-CT images from the original kidney. Vascular morphology was similar in the two sets of images. Radial geometry quantified by manual analysis of 2D images from micro-CT was consistent with corresponding data generated by light microscopy. However, due to limited spatial resolution when imaging a whole organ using contrast-enhanced micro-CT, only arteries ≥100 and ≥60 μm in diameter, for the rat and rabbit respectively, could be assessed. We conclude that it is feasible and valid to use micro-CT to quantify vascular geometry of the renal cortical circulation in both the rat and rabbit. However, a combination of light microscopic and micro-CT approaches are required to evaluate the spatial relationships between intrarenal arteries and veins over an extensive range of vessel size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1253
Number of pages13
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Volume44
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Counter-current exchange
  • Renal circulation
  • Synchrotron radiation

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