IT WOULD appear from recent investigations that the vascular tree is more than simply a system of tubes to transport metabolic components to and from the tissues. It is seen that the wall of the artery is a highly functioning tissue involved in the elaboration of certain metabolic factors. Among those may be included the production of an hexosamine synthesizing enzyme involved in the synthesis of mucopolysaccharides.1 There is also evidence that lipolytic and fibrinolytic activity exists in the aortic tissue.2,3 Among the large number of additional enzymes elaborated in the arterial wall may be included 5-nucleotidase and adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) which appear to show reduced activity in atheromatous plaques.4 Dehydrogenases and esterases are also among the more significantly active enzymes found in the vascular wall. These enzymes are diminished in concentration in the aorta tissue affected by atherosclerotic disease.5
Thus, one may reasonably regard the
Collens WS, Dobkin GB. Prevention and Control of Experimental Atherosclerosis in the Rabbit: A Biological Factor. Arch Surg. 1967;95(6):871–879. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330180019003
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