Sugar, Michael; Bassett, David R.; Bookstein, Joseph J.; Hough, J. Christopher
July 1971
Angiology;Jul/Aug1971, Vol. 22 Issue 7, p387
Academic Journal
A method has been described which enables satisfactory angiograms of iliac, femoral, and popliteal arteries of rabbits to be made on three occasions, separated by one or several months. This permits observations to be made, in the same experimental animal, on the effects of various dietary and drug regimens related to the production and regression of large-artery atherosclerotic lesions in these animals. Stenosing lesions of popliteal arteries were apparent on angiograms in many of the rabbits fed 1% cholesterol in 4% cottonseed oil for two two-month periods, with an intervening month of normal diet. Severe aortic and pulmonary artery atherosclerosis also developed in all rabbits so treated. The addition of clofibrate 0.3% W/W to one group of rabbits did not significantly change the level of serum cholesterol, or large-vessel atherosclerosis. This lack of effect might be related to the high dose of dietary cholesterol fed, a situation not analogous to the usual multifactorial causation of hypercholesterolemia in humans. In rabbits rendered hypercholesterolemic by two months of cholesterol-cottonseed oil feeding and then returned to normal diet for three months, a marked decline in serum cholesterol occurred. Three of four of those having final angiograms showed normal vessels by angiography; two of four of those animals autopsied showed no significant large-vessel atherosclerosis. This suggests that regression of atherosclerosis may have occurred, since it has been shown that relatively short-term feeding (2–3 weeks) of 1% cholesterol can produce atherosclerosis in rabbits.


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