Title
Dietary cholesterol withdrawal reduces vascular inflammation and induces coronary plaque stabilization in miniature pigs Dietary cholesterol withdrawal reduces vascular inflammation and induces coronary plaque stabilization in miniature pigs
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Veterinary medicine
Source (journal)
Cardiovascular research. - London
Volume/pages
56(2002) :1 , p. 135-144
ISSN
0008-6363
ISI
000178534200016
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Objective: To study the effect of dietary cholesterol withdrawal on size and composition of LDL-hypercholesterolemia-induced coronary plaques in miniature pigs. Methods: Pigs were on normal chow (control group), on a cholesterol-rich diet for 37 weeks (hypercholesterolemic group) or on a cholesterol-rich diet followed by normal chow for 26 weeks (cholesterol withdrawal group). Endothelial function was assessed with quantitative angiography after intracoronary infusion of acetylcholine, plaque load with intra-coronary ultrasound and plaque composition with image analysis of cross-sections. The effect of porcine serum on coronary smooth muscle cell (SMC) function was studied in vitro. Results: Cholesterol-rich diet caused LDL-hypercholesterolemia, increased plasma levels of oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) and C-reactive protein (CRP), and induced endothelial dysfunction and coronary atherosclerosis. Dietary cholesterol withdrawal lowered LDL, ox-LDL and CRP. It restored endothelial function, did not affect plaque size but decreased lipid, ox-LDL and macrophage content. Smooth muscle cells and collagen accumulated within the plaque. Increased smoothelin-to--smooth muscle actin ratio indicated a more differentiated SMC phenotype. Cholesterol lowering reduced proliferation and apoptosis. In vitro, hypercholesterolemic serum increased SMC apoptosis and decreased SMC migration compared to non-hypercholesterolemic serum. Conclusions: Cholesterol lowering induced coronary plaque stabilization as evidenced by a decrease in lipids, ox-LDL, macrophages, apoptosis and cell proliferation, and an increase in differentiated SMC and collagen. Increased migration and decreased apoptosis of SMC may contribute to the disappearance of the a-cellular core after lipid lowering.
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