Background: We examine the mechanism of aortic lengthening in a novel rodent model of tissue expander stimulated lengthening of arteries (TESLA).
Methods: A rat model of TESLA was examined with a single stretch stimulus applied at the time of tissue expander insertion with evaluation of the aorta at 2, 4 and 7day time points. Measurements as well as histology and proliferation assays were performed and compared to sham controls.
Results: The aortic length was increased at all time points without histologic signs of tissue injury. Nuclear density remained unchanged despite the increase in length suggesting cellular hyperplasia. Cellular proliferation was confirmed in endothelial cell layer by Ki-67 stain.
Conclusions: Aortic lengthening may be achieved using TESLA. The increase in aortic length can be achieved without tissue injury and results at least partially from cellular hyperplasia. Further studies are required to define the mechanisms involved in the growth of arteries under increased longitudinal stress.
Keywords: Artery lengthening; Midaortic syndrome; Middle aortic syndrome; Stress; Stretch; Tension; Tissue expander.
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