Division of type I and endothelial cells in the hypoxic rat carotid body

Acta Anat (Basel). 1986;126(4):226-9. doi: 10.1159/000146222.


The mammalian carotid body is enlarged under conditions of chronic hypoxaemia. There has been some discussion as to whether this is due to hypertrophy or to hyperplasia. We have subjected rats to 1, 2 or 7 days of 10% oxygen and, 4 h before removing the carotid bodies, injected each animal with vincristine sulphate, an inhibitor of mitosis. The results of this study indicate that numerous mitoses can be found in the carotid bodies of rats exposed to 10% oxygen, but not in control animals maintained in air. These experiments thus provide direct evidence that at least a proportion of the increase in size of the carotid body induced by chronic hypoxaemia is due to a cellular hyperplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotid Body / cytology*
  • Carotid Body / pathology
  • Carotid Body / ultrastructure
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Endothelium / ultrastructure
  • Hyperplasia
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology*
  • Metaphase
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitosis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Time Factors