Seven-week-old male Wistar rats (180–200 g) were used (King Fahd Medical Research Center, KAU, KSA). The animals were housed with access to standard rodent pellets and purified water in clear polypropylene cages (4 rats each). Constant housing conditions were applied, including alternating 12 h light and dark, 22 ± 3 °C temperature, sufficient ventilation, and 50–60% relative humidity. The research ethics committee of King Abdulaziz University approved the study (approval number 126-1439). The study was carried out according to the Saudi Arabia Research Bioethics Guidelines and Regulations, which are in accordance with the Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines for research involving animals [15]. The animals were executed by decapitation using a rodent guillotine administered by qualified personnel in the animal housing. The method is acceptable to induce a rapid loss of consciousness, according to the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2020 Edition (section M3.7) [16], and the descending thoracic aorta was precisely removed and washed from connective tissues and fats.

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