Aims Atherosclerosis is a well-known cause of cardiovascular disease and is associated with a variety of inflammatory reactions. However, an adequate large-animal model of advanced plaques to investigate the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis is lacking. Therefore, we developed and assessed a swine model of advanced atherosclerotic plaques with macrophage polarization. Methods Mini-pigs were fed a 2% high-cholesterol diet for 7 weeks followed by withdrawal periods of 4 weeks. Endothelial denudation was performed using a balloon catheter on 32 coronary and femoral arteries of 8 mini-pigs. Inflammatory proteins (high-mobility group box 1 [HMGB1] or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were injected via a micro-infusion catheter into the vessel wall. All lesions were assessed with angiography and optical coherence tomography and all tissues were harvested for histological evaluation. Results Intima/plaque area was significantly higher in the HMGB1- and TNF-α-injected groups compared to the saline-injected group (p = 0.002). CD68 antibody detection and polarization of M1 macrophages significantly increased in the inflammatory protein-injected groups (p<0.001). In addition, advanced atherosclerotic plaques were observed more in the inflammatory protein-injected groups compared with the control upon histologic evaluation. Conclusion Direct injection of inflammatory proteins was associated with acceleration of atherosclerotic plaque formation with M1 macrophage polarization. Therefore, direct delivery of inflammatory proteins may induce a pro-inflammatory response, providing a possible strategy for development of an advanced atherosclerotic large-animal model in a relatively short time period.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)