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Cholesterol mobilization and regression of atheroma in cholesterol-fed rabbits induced by large unilamellar vesicles

Authors
  • Rodrigueza, Wendi V
  • Klimuk, Sandra K
  • Pritchard, P.Haydn
  • Hope, Michael J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Accepted Date
Aug 04, 1997
Volume
1368
Issue
2
Pages
306–320
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/S0005-2736(97)00198-3
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The antiatherogenic properties of repeated injections of egg phosphatidylcholine large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) of 100 nm diameter were tested in an experimental model for atherosclerosis. Forty eight rabbits were divided into two diet groups fed standard rabbit chow or fed a cholesterol-enriched diet (0.5% by weight) to induce the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Prior to the initiation of LUV therapy, the cholesterol diet was ceased and all animals were returned to standard rabbit chow. The treatment protocol consisted of a total of 10 bolus injections of vesicles, at a phospholipid dose of 300 mg/kg body weight or the equivalent volume of saline, with one injection given to each animal every 10 days. LUV injections brought about a large movement of cholesterol into the blood pool and resulted in a significant reduction in the cholesterol content as well as the degree of surface plaque involvement of aortic tissue in atherosclerotic animals. Most notably, the thoracic aorta of LUV-treated animals exhibited a 48% reduction in tissue cholesterol content per gram of protein compared to saline-treated controls. Histochemical analyses revealed that aortas from animals receiving the repeated injections of LUVs displayed less cholesterol deposits in lesions, and a moderate reduction in intimal-to-medial thickness. This regression of atheroma, induced by LUV therapy, was observed even though animals possessed persistent elevated plasma cholesterol levels after the cholesterol-enriched diet was ceased. These results suggest that repeated injections of LUVs, working with endogenous HDL, may be a useful therapy in the management of atherosclerosis.

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