Hereditary hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis in the rabbit due to overproduction of lipoproteins. II. Preliminary report of arterial pathology.
A genetically determined hyperlipidemic strain of New Zealand White rabbit that has features in common with combined familial hyperlipidemia in humans has been identified. The morphologic findings in a few animals fed a normal chow diet are reported. These consisted of macroscopically visible aortic intimal elevations found in the greatest number in the descending thoracic aorta. The plaques showed the presence of a cell population consisting of modified smooth muscle cells and lipid-laden macrophages. The lesion bases were necrotic and acellular, and some showed the presence of dystrophic calcification. Scanning electron microscopy revealed numerous monocytes attached to the endothelium. Endothelial defects were common, and these were filled with swollen and "ruffled" macrophages. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of lipid-laden cells penetrating between adjacent endothelial cells. These findings resemble those reported in a number of different animal species after dietary induction of hyperlipidemia. This strain is a useful new model for the study of atherogenesis.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association