Morphological changes to endothelial and interstitial cells and to the extra-cellular matrix in canine myxomatous mitral valve disease (endocardiosis)

R I Han, C H Clark, A Black, A French, G J Culshaw, S A Kempson, B M Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Morphological and functional changes in endothelial and interstitial cells are considered central to myxomatous degeneration of the canine mitral valve (endocardiosis). The aim of this study was to describe and quantify changes in valve endothelial cells (VECs), interstitial cells (VICs) and the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) of the sub-endothelial zone of diseased valves using a combination of transmission electron microscopy, stereology and computer-aided image analysis.

Marked degradation of the endothelium was evident in diseased valves, which coincided with significant degradation of the local ECM (P < 0.001). There were decreases and increases in the numbers of VECs and VICs, respectively, in diseased valves, with particular accumulation of VICs subjacent to the valve surface (P < 0.01). Overall, VICs were more pleomorphic than VECs in both normal and diseased valves, but for VECs, the degree of pleomorphism was significantly different in diseased valves (P < 0.0001). The findings of the study confirm that canine myxomatous mitral valve disease is associated with marked endothelial damage, with attendant proliferation of subjacent activated myofibroblasts. The fact that similar endothelial changes are present in normal valves suggests these processes not only contribute to valve pathology, but may also represent life-long valve remodelling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-394
JournalThe Veterinary Journal
Volume197
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • dog
  • Myxomatous mitral valve disease
  • Electron microscopy
  • Endocardiosis

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