Changes in main pulmonary artery of rats with monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1987 Aug;111(8):741-5.


Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for atherosclerosis, yet no morphologic evidence exists to explain it. This study is an attempt to identify lesions in the main pulmonary artery of rats in which pulmonary hypertension was induced by a single dose of monocrotaline. Pulmonary artery pressure was measured directly by catheterization or indirectly by measuring right ventricular thickness. Lesions were studied by both light and electron microscopy. As in previous studies in which monocrotaline was given chronically, we found thickening of the main pulmonary artery. We also found widening of subendothelial space, change in smooth-muscle cell polarity, shape, and organelle content (indicating change from contractile to secretory), focal areas of muscle necrosis and elastolysis. Interestingly, cardiac muscle was observed in adventitia of both controls and treated animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / chemically induced
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Monocrotaline
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Pulmonary Artery / pathology*
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure
  • Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Senecio
  • Time Factors


  • Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids
  • Monocrotaline