Objective - This study investigates effects of short-term administration of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and a statin on atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits. Effects of HDL apolipoprotein and phospholipid composition have also been investigated. Methods and Results - Aortic atherosclerosis was established over 17 weeks in 46 rabbits by balloon denudation and cholesterol feeding. During the past 5 days of the cholesterol-feeding period, animals received: (1) no treatment; (2) oral atorvastatin 5 mg/kg on each of the 5 days; or (3) infusions of HDL (8 mg/kg apolipoprotein A-I) on days 1 and 3 of the treatment phase. After euthanization, lesion size and composition were assessed by histological and immunohistochemical analysis. HDL (but not atorvastatin) reduced lesion size by 36% (P<0.05). The ratio of smooth muscle cells to macrophages in the lesions increased 2.6-fold in animals infused with HDL (P<0.05) and 4-fold in those receiving atorvastatin (P<0.01). HDL and atorvastatin reduced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 expression by 42% (P<0.05) and 45% (P<0.03), respectively. HDL increased thrombomodulin expression 2-fold (P<0.03). The beneficial effects on lesion area and plaque cellular composition were influenced by HDL phospholipid and apolipoprotein composition. Conclusion - Infusing small amounts of HDL rapidly reduces lesion size and is comparable to atorvastatin in promoting a stable plaque phenotype.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2005|
- High-density lipoprotein
- Plaque stabilization