The time course of atherosclerotic lesion regression in macaque monkeys
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.
KeywordsCynomolgus Monkey Lesion Area Intimal Surface Prudent Diet Intimal Lesion
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