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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evaluation of the smooth muscle cell component and apoptosis in the varicose vein wall.

This study was designed to evaluate the role of the smooth muscle cell and the apoptosis in the pathogenesis of the varicose vein. Segments of saphenous vein were obtained from healthy subjects and from those with varicose veins. The vein specimens were subdivided according to subject age (younger or older than 50 years) and according to the varicose vein source (distal or proximal). Morphological, ultrastructural, cell proliferation (anti-PCNA method) and cell death (TUNEL method) analysis were performed. The walls of healthy, control vein specimens acquired a more collagenous and papillomatous appearance with age. A slight increase in the number of TUNEL-positive cells was also observed in specimens from older subjects. The proportion of apoptotic cells was much greater in the varicose veins than in control specimens. Most cellular alterations were seen in proximal varicose segments obtained from young subjects. These specimens showed hypertrophic areas with a high degree of cellularity (both in the media and in the thickened intima). The highest proportion of apoptotic cells and collagenisation were also observed in these areas. The enhanced number of apoptotic cells in varicose veins observed mainly in proximal/young vein specimens could be responsible, at least in part, for the acceleration of the final fibrosclerotic process characteristic of the varicose vein wall.[1]


  1. Evaluation of the smooth muscle cell component and apoptosis in the varicose vein wall. Buján, J., Jiménez-Cossio, J.A., Jurado, F., Gimeno, M.J., Pascual, G., García-Honduvilla, N., Dominguez, B., Bellón, J.M. Histol. Histopathol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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