Comparison of CI-976, an ACAT inhibitor, and selected lipid-lowering agents for antiatherosclerotic activity in iliac-femoral and thoracic aortic lesions. A biochemical, morphological, and morphometric evaluation.
Due to the potential importance of acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol O-acyltransferase (ACAT) in the generation of lipid-filled monocytes-macrophages, the ACAT inhibitor CI-976 (2,2-dimethyl-N-(2,4,6-trimethoxyphenyl)dodecanamide) was evaluated relative to selected lipid-lowering agents for their effect on atherosclerotic lesion regression and progression. Atherosclerotic lesions comparable in composition to human fatty streaks were induced by chronic endothelial denudation in the iliac-femoral artery of hypercholesterolemic New Zealand White rabbits before intervention, while naturally occurring fatty streaks developed in the thoracic aorta. CI-976 administered in a hypercholesterolemic diet at a dose that did not lower plasma cholesterol prevented the accumulation of monocytes-macrophages within the preestablished iliac-femoral lesion and reduced the foam cell area by 27-29% relative to the initiation of intervention. CI-976 also blunted the development of thoracic aortic fatty streak-like lesions and decreased the cholesteryl ester enrichment by 46%. CI-976 had no effect on plasma triglycerides and, more importantly, had no effect or decreased liver, iliac-femoral, and thoracic aortic free cholesterol content. Dietary intervention alone increased monocyte-macrophage involvement in the iliac-femoral lesion despite reductions in plasma, liver, and thoracic aortic cholesterol content. Conventional lipid-lowering therapy such as cholestyramine or cholestyramine/niacin required substantial decreases in plasma cholesterol levels to achieve comparable vascular changes. We conclude that inhibition of ACAT within the arterial wall by the potent and specific ACAT inhibitor CI-976, even in the absence of plasma cholesterol lowering, can result in the inhibition of atherosclerotic lesion progression and can enhance regression.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association