The experimental design.
(A) Cartoon depicting the model used for inducing atherothrombosis. A tiny curved needle introduced through a branch of the external carotid was advanced up to the plaque surface under persistent blood flow. After positioning the tip of the needle in front of the plaque, it was applied to the plaque and moved forth and back twice in order to scratch the fibrous cap. (B) The experimental timeline. “I” stands for injection. (C) Transversal histological section of the carotid artery after the scratch injury. Immunohistochemistry depicts platelets and therefore thrombus in red. The scratch with superimposed thrombosis is clearly visible and induced here a small dissection (arrow). A corresponding section of the site of the plaque rupture stained with Masson-Trichrome is depicted in (D).