Objectives Aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) play an vital role in the development of aortic valve stenosis. However, little progress is reported in isolation and culture of AVICs in rats, which is a wide used animal model for human diseases. The aim of this study is to isolate and culture AVICs from SD rats using a improved method.
Methods Aortic valves were isolated from the SD rats and techniques were developed with an improved explant method. The myofibroblast markers, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and vimentin, were analysed using immmunofluoresence. Ultrastructural characterisation of cells was examined with transmission electron microscope (TEM).
Results Isolated cells exhibited an elongated morphology at low densities and cobblestone morphology at confluence. Cells from SD rats aortic valves were positive for α-SMA and vimentin. TEM analysis showed ultrastructural features of cells with abundant mitochondria, prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum, and plentiful myofilaments.
Conclusions This study may provides a reliable and efficient explant method to isolate and culture AVICs from SD rats.