Cell compositions of coronary and aortic atherosclerotic lesions in WHHL rabbits differ. An immunohistochemical study.
This study investigated whether coronary atherosclerosis was different from aortic atherosclerosis in Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits. Atherosclerotic lesions were immunohistochemically stained by using a monoclonal antibody for rabbit macrophages (RAM-11) and a monoclonal antibody for muscle actin (HHF35) and were also subjected to conventional staining. The areas of the major lesional components, ie, macrophages, smooth muscle cells, collagen fibers, and extracellular lipid deposits, were measured with a color image analyzer. The percent macrophage area in coronary lesions was significantly lower compared with aortic lesions at all stages (early fatty streak, transitional, and advanced), while the percent smooth muscle cell area and collagen area were significantly higher in early fatty streak lesions of the coronary arteries. In addition, the macrophage area/smooth muscle cell area ratio was significantly lower in coronary lesions compared with aortic lesions at all stages. In conclusion, coronary atherosclerosis had a small number of macrophages and was rich in smooth muscle cells, whereas aortic atherosclerosis showed the opposite features. These results suggested that the role of macrophages and smooth muscle cells in the initiation and/or progression of coronary atherosclerosis differs from the role of these cells in aortic atherosclerosis.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association