Functional changes in canine saphenous veins after cryopreservation

J. R. Elmore, P. Gloviczki, K. G.M. Brockbank, V. M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine the functional characteristics of the endothelium, smooth muscle and nerve terminals of cryopreserved veins. Freshly harvested and cryopreserved canine saphenous veins were cut into rings. In some rings, the endothelium was removed. Cryopreserved veins were stored at - 196°C for at least 3 weeks prior to use. All rings contracted in a concentration-dependent manner to depolarization with KCI and to alpha-adrenergic stimulation; the maximal tensions were significantly less in cryopreserved than in freshly harvested veins. Calcium ionophore A23187 caused greater relaxations in rings with than without endothelium in freshly harvested and cryopreserved veins. These relaxations were reduced significantly by methylene blue and N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) only in fresh veins. Cocaine-sensitive uptake of H3-norepinephrine was reduced following cryopreservation. Immediately after cryopreservation, the production of prostacyclin was elevated. The calcium ionophore A23187 stimulated production of prostacyclin only in freshly harvested veins. Tissue content of endothelin did not change following cryopreservation. These results suggest that cryopreservation of canine saphenous veins alters nerve terminals and decreases the ability of the smooth muscle to contract. The endothelium releases an endothelium-derived relaxing factor and prostanoids following cryopreservation but the ability to synthesize nitric oxide is probably reduced. These changes following cryopreservation may affect patency of the veins when used as arterial grafts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Angiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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