The human carotid atherosclerotic plaque stimulates angiogenesis on the chick chorioallantoic membrane

Walter J. Bo, Michele Mercuri, Richard P Tucker, M. Gene Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The chick chorioallantoic membrane was used to determine whether the carotid atherosclerotic plaque stimulates angiogenesis. Carotid endarterectomy specimens (1 mm3) with fibromuscular plaque (n = 8) and complicated plaque (n = 11) were implanted on the membrane on day nine of incubation and the response evaluated on day 11. Following fixation in situ with 10% formalin the angiogenic response was evaluated by: (1) examining whole membrane mounts, (2) quantitatively from a vascular density index and (3) from a histological study. Unmanipulated chorioallantoic membrane (n = 11) and plaque boiled prior to implantation (n = 6) served as controls. The vascularity of whole mounts of both fibromuscular and complicated plaque was greater than the controls. Vessel density of the membrane was estimated by counting the number of vessels intersecting four concentric circles (144.5 mm total circumference) placed on the formalin fixed membrane. The vascular density index due to the fibromuscular plaque (390.6 ± 8.3) and complicated plaque (391.0 ± 14.9) were similar (P > 0.9) but were significantly greater (P < 0.001) than the unmanipulated membrane (327.9 ± 5.6) or after treatment with the boiled plaque (283.8 ± 15.6). Transforming growth factor β1 confirmed the validity of the experimental model to study angiogenesis. The histology of the chorioallantoic membrane due to either type of plaque was similar. Numerous vessels surrounded the plaque, and intraplaque vessels containing nucleated chick erythrocytes were observed. Although scattered vessels surrounded the boiled plaque, intraplaque vessels were not observed. This study demonstrates that the atherosclerotic plaque has angiogenic properties that may account for the increase in vasa vasorum that is associated with the plaque.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Chick chorioallantoic membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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