, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1530-1537
Date: 27 Apr 2012

Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Proliferation of the Vasa Vasorum in a Rabbit Model of Atherosclerosis as Evaluated by Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging and Histology

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Whether lipopolysaccharide (LPS) can promote vasa vasorum (VV) proliferation for atherosclerosis in vivo is unclear. Eighteen rabbits with atherosclerosis were randomly assigned into one of three groups of six. Group A received biweekly injections of 10 mL saline after 2 weeks of balloon injury. Groups B and C received biweekly intravenous injections of 3.0 μg LPS in 10 mL saline at weeks 10 and 4, respectively, until study termination. LPS significantly increased the levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein and decreased the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Group C had significant larger plaques and more macrophages than group A (p = 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Contrast enhancement ultrasound imaging and histological detection demonstrated that plaques in group C had a significantly higher VV density than that in group A (p = 0.009 and p = 0.002, respectively). In summary, VV proliferation for plaque destabilization can be accelerated by LPS-induced systemic inflammation and changes in lipid profiles.