Applications for cryopreserved blood vessels in pharmacological research
The development of drugs in cardiovascular research involves in vitro studies that are generally performed on freshly isolated blood vessels. Naturally, data obtained from human tissues would be the most accurate and predictable for human pharmacology. However, the main problems are that the supply of fresh human material is unpredictable and the tissue has a very short life span. Storage in physiologic salt solution at 4 degrees C, the most common practice to preserve isolated blood vessels, induces rapid and progressive changes of physiologic and functional properties within a few days. Cryopreservation of isolated blood vessels at -70 to -196 degrees C in a medium containing Me2SO offers the prospect of virtually infinite storage of the material with the only damage being that associated with the freezing and thawing process. Despite certain changes, such as reductions in contractile forces and endothelial functions, the main biochemical properties, uptake mechanisms, and affinities of most agonists and antagonists have been shown to be well preserved after cryopreservation. Hence, this technique offers clear potential for ensuring the supply of vascular material for pharmacological studies.
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