Age-related alterations in the morphology of femoral artery vasa vasorum in the rat

Gregg D. Phillips, A. Marika Stone, Julie C. Schultz, Russell A. Whitehead, Bryan D. Jones, Margot L. Goodkin, Mark W. Ruebel, David R. Knighton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to explore any age-related morphological changes in the vasa vasorum of the rat femoral artery. Vascular corrosion casts were prepared from 2, 12 and 24-month-old rats. Examination of the casts with the scanning electron microscope revealed dramatic differences in the appearance of the vessels of young and aged rats. The vasa vasorum of 2-month-old rats consisted of a dense network of capillaries. These vessels were dramatically reduced in number by 12 months, and even fewer capillaries were present at 24 months. This reduction in capillary density is consistent with the observed age-related decreases in oxygen tension and may explain why the aged are more prone to atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 8 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Femoral artery
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Vasa vasorum
  • Vascular corrosion casts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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