, Volume 130, Issue 3, pp 262-272
Date: 19 Feb 2009

Chromium Chloride Administration Causes a Substantial Reduction of Coronary Lipid Deposits, Aortic Lipid Deposits, and Serum Cholesterol Concentration in Rabbits

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This experiment was carried out to test the null hypothesis that intramuscular trivalent chromium administration would not remove lipids from the heart and ascending aorta of the hyoercholesterolemic rabbits and would not lower their serum cholesterol levels. A novel computer-based method, previously described, was used to assess the sizes of the intracardiac and aortic lesions. Clinical chemistry and histopathology were performed through routine methods. The sizes of the lipid deposits in the coronary vasculature of the hypercholesterolemic rabbits were greatly reduced as a result of the intramuscular chromium chloride injections. Lipid deposits in the ascending aorta were similarly reduced, as well as the serum cholesterol concentrations. The terminal serum chromium concentrations in the chromium-treated group were in the range of 3,258–4,513 μg/L, whereas, in the untreated animals, the concentrations were 3.2 to 6.3 μg/L. The general condition of the chromium-treated animals was good and they were continuing to gain weight up to the time they were killed. However, it was found that their liver function tests had become abnormal even though there was no evidence of hepatic histopathological lesions specifically affecting the chromium-treated group. The kidney function tests and histopathology were normal. These findings suggest that a more aggressive approach than those tried hitherto might be useful in treating atherosclerotic human patients with chromium.