A modified rat model of hindlimb ischemia for augmentation and functional measurement of arteriogenesis
Arteriogenesis (collateral artery development) is an adaptive pathway critical for salvage of tissue in the setting of arterial occlusion. Rodent models of arteriogenesis typically involve an experimental occlusion (ligation) of a hindlimb artery and then rely on indirect measures such as laser Doppler perfusion imaging to assess blood flow recovery. Unfortunately, the more commonly utilized measures of distal tissue perfusion at rest are unable to account for hemodynamic and vasoactive variables and thus provide an incomplete assessment of collateral network capacity. We provide a detailed description of modifications to the commonly used model of femoral artery ligation. These serve to alter and then directly assess collateral network’s hemodynamic capacity. By incorporating an arteriovenous fistula distal to the arterial ligation, arterial growth is maximized. Hindlimb perfusion may be isolated to measure minimum resistance of flow around the arterial occlusion, which provides a direct measure of collateral network capacity. Our results reinforce that arteriogenesis is driven by hemodynamic variables, and it can be reliably augmented and measured in absolute terms. Using these modifications to a widely used model, functional arteriogenesis may be more directly studied.
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