Synthetic Cholesterol-Ester Antigens in Experimental Atherosclerosis
It seems fairly well established, as the result of previous reports [1, 2, 3] and of work reviewed elsewhere in this symposium, that stimulation of the RES can influence some aspects of lipid metabolism. Early work by Weinhouse and Hirsch  on the composition of atherosclerotic plaques showed that the principal sterol fraction was the esterified form. In a similar study we found that the progression of atherosclerotic lesions in the thoracic aorta of cholesterol-fed rabbits was much more closely linked to increases in tissue cholesterol esters than to free cholesterol itself. Thus, after 12–14 weeks on cholesterol diets, when the plaques covered from 50100% of the surface of the aorta, the ester cholesterol content of the aorta had increased to 23 times the normal levels as compared to only 2- to 3- fold increase in the free cholesterol content (Table I). It was of interest, therefore, to study the influence on the atherosclerotic process of immunization with antigens directed specifically against the cholesterol ester fraction of the serum lipoproteins. The feasibility of coupling steroid-type molecules as haptens to specific carrier proteins has been demonstrated for progesterone, desoxycorticosterone, and estrone by Erlanger and Borek et al. .
KeywordsAtherosclerotic Plaque Cholesterol Ester Cholesterol Diet Serum Lipid Level Bovine Albumin
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