Arterial remodeling, i.e. changes in size and/or structure of arteries, plays an important role in vascular disease.
Conflicting findings have been reported as to whether an abundance of collagen causes inward or outward remodeling,
phenomena that result in either a smaller or larger lumen, respectively. We hypothesize that the amount, type and quality
of collagen influence the remodeling response. Here, we create mechanical injury to the rat carotid artery using a balloon
catheter, and this leads to inward remodeling. Treatment of the artery with Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF)
causes outward remodeling. We investigated the arterial composition in injured CTGF-treated and non-CTGF-treated
and sham CTGF-treated and non-CTGF treated arteries 14 days post-injury (n = 7-8 per group) using infrared imaging.
A Perkin Elmer Spotlight Spectrum 300 FT-IR microscope was used for data collection. Cross-sections of paraffinembedded
arteries were scanned at 2 cm-1 spectral resolution with spatial resolution of 6.25 μm/pixel, and data analyzed
using Malvern Instruments ISys 5.0. Post-injury, we found a nearly 50% reduction in the average 1338/AM2 area ratio
(correlated to collagen helical integrity). The most dramatic change was a 600% increase in the 1660/1690 peak height
ratio, which has previously been related to collagen crosslink maturity. In all cases, CTGF treatment resulted in the
observed changes in peak parameters normalized back to control values. Overall, these preliminary studies demonstrate
that infrared imaging can provide insight into the underlying molecular changes that contribute to arterial disease.