Silkworth, J. B.; Stehbens, W. E.
June 1975
Angiology;Jun1975, Vol. 26 Issue 6, p474
Academic Journal
The endothelium of the rabbit aorta and interior vena cava was investigated using the H�utchen technique. It was observed that in general the endothelial cells are orientated with their longitudinal axis parallel to the direction of blood flow. It was also revealed that the endothelial cells are not all spindle in shape. Most aortic endothelial cells have an elongated tear-drop configuration, with the nucleus and the bulk of the cytoplasm distal to the midpoint of the longitudinal axis of the cell. Examination of the aortic endothelium at varying intervals post mortem or following incubation in a tissue culture medium suggests that a change in shape may occur following the cessation of blood flow. Endothelial cells about orifices of branches were often polygonal in outline and displayed stigmata, stomata, and heavy silver staining of individual cells especially about the flow divider. Fewer venous endothelial cells exhibited a tear-drop configuration, but unlike the aortic endothelium, their nuclei remained upstream from the midpoint of the cell's longitudinal axis. These observations strongly suggest that the shape and orientation of endothelial cells is dependent on the flowing blood and that deformation from a true spindle shape could be the consequence of associated shear stresses.


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