Long-term induction and regression of diet-induced atherosclerotic lesions in rhesus monkeys. I. Morphological and chemical evidence for regression of lesions in the aorta and carotid and peripheral arteries.
Atherosclerotic lesions were induced in rhesus monkeys by feeding a high-saturated fatty acid and high-cholesterol diet. After 5.4 years the extent of fatty streaks and raised lesions was evaluated in one group of animals (group P) by visual estimation in 10 arterial segments and chemically in four arterial segments. The remaining animals were switched to a basal regression diet low in cholesterol but high in saturated fatty acids for up to 3.7 years. Regression of lesions was evaluated in one group for 1.9 years (group R4) and in another for 3.7 years (group R5) after deleting cholesterol from the diet. The atherogenic diet increased serum cholesterol levels in all animals from a mean of 150 mg/dL to a mean of about 430 mg/dL. The atherogenic diet produced lesions in group P in all arterial segments (involving up to 50% of the arterial intimal surface) and increased cholesterol content in four arterial segments (varying between 443 and 506 micrograms/cm2). Switching to the basal regression diet decreased serum cholesterol levels to normal after 12 to 18 weeks. The switch to the basal diet significantly decreased the extent of fatty streaks in most arterial segments in both groups. Although differences in the mean extent of raised lesions among groups were not statistically significant, 7 of 10 arterial segments in group R4 and 9 of 10 segments in group R5 showed a lesser extent of raised lesions than in group P. Cholesterol content was lower (P < .05) in all four arterial segments in group R5 than in group P.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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