Characterization of the arterial anatomy of the murine hindlimb: Functional role in the design and understanding of ischemia models

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Abstract

Rationale: Appropriate ischemia models are required for successful studies of therapeutic angiogenesis. While collateral routes are known to be present within the innate vasculature, there are no reports describing the detailed vascular anatomy of the murine hindlimb. In addition, differences in the descriptions of anatomical names and locations in the literature impede understanding of the circulation and the design of hindlimb ischemia models. To understand better the collateral circulation in the whole hindlimb, clarification of all the feeding arteries of the hindlimb is required. Objective: The aim of this study is to reveal the detailed arterial anatomy and collateral routes in murine hindlimb to enable the appropriate design of therapeutic angiogenesis studies and to facilitate understanding of the circulation in ischemia models. Methods and Results: Arterial anatomy in the murine hindlimb was investigated by contrast-enhanced X-ray imaging and surgical dissection. The observed anatomy is shown in photographic images and in a schema. Previously unnoticed but relatively large arteries were observed in deep, cranial and lateral parts of the thigh. The data indicates that there are three collateral routes through the medial thigh, quadriceps femoris, and the biceps femoris muscles. Furthermore, anatomical variations were found at the origins of the three feeding arteries. Conclusions: The detailed arterial anatomy of murine hindlimb and collateral routes deduced from the anatomy are described. Limitations on designs of ischemia models in view of anatomical variations are proposed. These observations will contribute to the development of animal studies of therapeutic angiogenesis using murine hindlimb ischemia models.

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Kochi, T., Imai, Y., Takeda, A., Watanabe, Y., Mori, S., Tachi, M., & Kodama, T. (2013). Characterization of the arterial anatomy of the murine hindlimb: Functional role in the design and understanding of ischemia models. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084047

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