Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.
We examined whether high incidence rates (18%-56%) of inflammation in the root of the aorta detected in a Balb/c mouse model for hind limb ischemia were related to the surgical procedure. Twenty mice underwent ligation of the femoral artery; incidences of aortic root inflammation were compared to those observed in controls. We used a multiple-section sampling method to increase the sensitivity of the diagnostic rates. Although a cumulative incidence of 12.5% was found, no difference was seen in the overall incidence rates between the control and the surgically treated groups. Evaluation of blood levels of inflammatory cytokines showed that ligation of the femoral artery produced higher levels of interleukin-6 in the surgically transected group of mice. The development of spontaneous arteritis in this strain must be considered in future studies.