A Simple Method for Normalization of Aortic Contractility

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Vascular contractile function changes in proliferative vascular diseases, e.g. atherosclerosis, and is documented using isolated blood vessels; yet, many laboratories differ in their approach to quantification. Some use raw values (e.g., mg, mN); others use a “percentage of control agonist” approach; and others normalize by blood vessel characteristic, e.g. length, mass, etc. A lack of uniformity limits direct comparison of contractility outcomes. To address this limitation, we developed a simple 2-step normalization method: (1) measure blood vessel segment length (mm), area (mm2) and calculate volume (mm3); then, (2) normalize isometric contraction (mN) by segment length and volume. Normalized aortic contractions but not raw values were statistically different between normal chow and high-fat diet-fed mice, supporting the practical utility and general applicability of normalization. It is recommended that aortic contractions be normalized to segment length and/or volume to reduce variability, enhance efficiency, and to foster universal comparisons across isometric myography platforms, laboratories, and experimental settings.

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