Purpose: Appropriate animal models of atherosclerotic plaque are crucial to investigating the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, as well as for the evaluation of the efficacy and safety of vascular devices. We aimed to develop a novel animal model that would be suitable for the study of advanced atherosclerotic lesions in vivo. Materials and Methods: Atherosclerotic plaque was induced in 24 iliac arteries from 12 rabbits by combining a high cholesterol diet, endothelial denudation, and injection into the vessel wall with either saline (n=5), olive oil (n=6), or inflammatory proteins [n=13, high-mobility group protein B1 (HMGB1) n=8 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α n=5] using a CricketTM Micro-infusion catheter. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was performed to detect plaque characteristics after 4 weeks, and all tissues were harvested for histological evaluation. Results: Advanced plaque was more frequently observed in the group injected with inflammatory proteins. Macrophage infiltration was present to a higher degree in the HMGB1 and TNF-α groups, compared to the oil or saline group (82.1±5.1% and 94.6± 2.2% compared to 49.6±14.0% and 46.5±9.6%, p-value<0.001), using RAM11 antibody staining. On OCT, lipid rich plaques were more frequently detected in the inflammatory protein group [saline group: 2/5 (40%), oil group: 3/5 (50%), HMGB1 group: 6/8 (75%), and TNF-α group: 5/5 (100%)]. Conclusion: These data indicate that this rabbit model of atherosclerotic lesion formation via direct injection of pro-inflammatory proteins into the vessel wall is useful for in vivo studies investigating atherosclerosis.
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© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2016.
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