Background: A high throughput animal model may enhance pathophysiological studies to mechanisms of instent restenosis (ISR). More and appropriate antibodies and transgenic and knockout strains are available in rats. Consequently, a model for ISR in the rat would be convenient for pathobiological studies. Here we present the full characteristics of a rat ISR model suitable for high throughput stent research. Methods: The abdominal aorta of rats was separated from surrounding tissue and a BeStent™ 2 or a Cypher™ sirolimus-eluting stent was locally inserted. After 1, 3, 7, 28 and 56 days, the aortas were harvested, fixed, embedded and cut. Morphometric analysis was performed and inflammation scored. Results: The neointimal area increased to a maximum after 28 days (0.55 ± 0.08 mm2). Subsequently, the neointimal area slightly decreased. The injury score and the neointimal area were linearly correlated (r = 0.85, p < 0.01). Thrombus formation was present after 1 day. Leukocyte adherence was evident after 1 day, maximal after 3 days (93 ± 21 cells/section) and decreased thereafter. The inflammation score increased after 3 days to a maximum after 7 days (1.37 ± 0.06) and declined thereafter. After 28 days the Cypher sirolimus-eluting stent decreased the stenosis in comparison to the BeStent 2 (10.2 ± 0.85 vs. 18.0 ± 2.0%, respectively, p < 0.01). Conclusions: Stent deployment in the rat abdominal aorta results in thrombus formation, inflammation and neointimal formation. Moreover, there is a linear correlation between the injury score and the neointimal area. These responses resemble ISR events as seen in other animal models. Moreover, a known anti-restenotic stent also reduces neointimal formation in this model. Rat abdominal aorta stenting is a promising animal model for ISR, it is suitable for testing commercially manufactured stents and studying the pathophysiology of ISR. Copyright

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Journal of Vascular Research
Department of Cardiology

Langeveld, B, van Gilst, W.H, Roks, A.J.M, Tio, R.A, van Boven, A.J, van der Want, J.J.L, … Zijlstra, F. (2004). Rat abdominal aorta stenting: A new and reliable small animal model for in-stent restenosis. Journal of Vascular Research, 41(5), 377–386. doi:10.1159/000080891