The time course of atherosclerotic lesion regression in macaque monkeys

  • R. W. Wissler
  • D. Vesselinovitch


Nine two-year regression experiments, seven utilizing rhesus monkeys and two using cynomolgus monkeys, have been conducted. Induction of lesions was carried out with a mixture of coconut oil and butterfat in five experiments, and with peanut oil in four experiments, all with 2% cholesterol in the ration. The study plan consisted of one year of lesion induction and one year of intervention with diet alone or with diet plus serum lipid lowering drugs or with a combination of drugs.

In rhesus, a very low fat, low cholesterol diet reduced the advanced and intermediate raised lesions produced by coconut oil, butter, and cholesterol by about 2/3. The same diet combined with cholestyramine yielded an average lesion size reduction of 5/6, whereas the more fibrous peanut oil induced lesions were reduced by about the same proportion in surface area and were less reduced in thickness or in morphometrically measured microscopic lesion area.

Time interval studies using coconut oil and butter for lesion induction indicate that microscopic regression of lesion areas is very prompt, with about half occurring in the first four months and with almost 2/3 of the microscopically stainable lipid removed in the same time period. Gross lesion surface area and microscopic lesion thickness follow somewhat more slowly.


Cynomolgus Monkey Lesion Area Intimal Surface Prudent Diet Intimal Lesion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Vesselinovitch, D., Wissler, R.W., Schaffner, T.J. and Borensztajn, J. (1980) The effects of various diets on atherogenesis in rhesus monkeys. Atherosclerosis 35, 198–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Vesselinovitch, D., Wissler, R.W., Hughes, R., and Borensztajn, J. (1976) Reversal of advanced atherosclerosis in rhesus monkeys. Atherosclerosis 23, 155–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Howard, C.F. Jr. (1979) Aortic atherosclerosis in normal and spontaneously diabetic Macaca nigra, Atherosclerosis 33, 479–493.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wissler, R.W., Vesselinovitch, D., Schaffner, T.J. and Glagov, S. (1980) Quantitating rhesus monkey atherosclerosis progression and regression with time, in A.M. Gotto, Jr., L.C. Smith and B. Allen (eds.), Atherosclerosis V (Proc. Vth Int. Symp.), Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 757–761.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vesselinovitch, D., Wissler, R.W., and Schaffner, T. (1982) Quantitation of lesions during progression and regression of atherosclerosis in rhesus monkeys, in H. Naito (ed.), Nutrition and Heart Disease, S.P. Medical and Scientific Books, New York, pp. 121–149.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wissler, R.W. and Vesselinovitch, D. (1984) Interaction of therapeutic diets and cholesterol-lowering drugs in regression studies in animals, in M.R. Malinow and V.H. Blaton (eds.), Regression of Atherosclerotic Lesions, Plenum, New York, pp. 2–-41.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wissler, R.W. and Vesselinovitch, D. (1983) Atherosclerosis - Relationship to coronary blood flow, Am. J. Cardiol. 52, 2A–7A.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wissler, R.W., Vesselinovitch, D., Davis, H.R., Lambert, P.H. and Berkermeier, M. (1985) A new way to look at atherosclerotic involvement of the artery wall and the functional effects, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sei. 454, 9–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hollander, W., Kirkpatrick, B., Paddock, J., Colombo, M., Nagraj, S. and Prusty, S. (1979) Studies on the progression and regression of coronary and peripheral atherosclerosis in the cynomolgus monkey, Exp. Mol. Pathol., 30, 55–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Wissler
    • 1
  • D. Vesselinovitch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and The Specialized Center of Research in AtherosclerosisUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations