Arterial biomechanics after destruction of cytoskeleton by Cytochalasin D.
Vascular smooth muscle is a major structural element of the arterial wall. We examined the effects of cytoskeleton destruction, after administration of Cytochalasin D, on the biomechanical properties of porcine common carotids. Compared to untreated, maximally dilated controls, Cytochalasin D-treated arteries have shown a marked increase in compliance in the elastin-dominated pressure range. After weakening the VSM stress-bearing cytoskeleton by Cytochalasin D the artery would expand, reaching a new equilibrium state. This study brings further evidence that VSM is under tension, even when it is under zero load and at maximal vasodilation. This residual tension was released upon partial destruction of the cytoskeleton with Cytochalasin D. From a biomechanical standpoint, this means that the zero stress states of the in-series and parallel elastic components are substantially different.