To define morphological changes in carotid and cerebral arteries in sickle cell transgenic mice (SS) as they age, a combination of ultrasound and microcomputed tomography of plastinated arteries was used to quantify arterial dimensions and changes in mice 4, 12, and 24 weeks of age. 12-week SS mice had significantly larger common carotid artery diameters than AS mice, which continued through to the extracranial and intracranial portions of the internal carotid artery (ICA). There were also side specific differences in diameters between the left and right vessels. Significant ICA tapering along its length occurred by 12- and 24-weeks in SS mice, decreasing by as much as 70%. Significant narrowing along the length was also measured in SS anterior cerebral arteries at 12- and 24-weeks, but not AS. Collectively, these findings indicate that sickle cell anemia induces arterial remodeling in 12- and 24-weeks old mice. Catalog of measurements are also provided for the common carotid, internal carotid, anterior cerebral, and middle cerebral arteries for AS and SS genotypes, as a reference for other investigators using mathematical and computational models of age-dependent arterial complications caused by sickle cell anemia.
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