Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is an underlying basis for most cardiovascular diseases in humans. Animal models are indispensable for studying the molecular mechanisms that promote atherogenesis and testing therapeutic strategies. Both large and small animal models have been used to study atherogenesis. Although nonhuman primates come closest to modeling human disease, there are significant limitations to the use of these species. Rabbits and pigs have a number of advantages including the ready ability to obtain vascular wall cells for study. However, currently there are a limited number of genetically modified rabbits or pigs. On the other hand, several mouse models of atherosclerosis are available that can be readily crossed with mice with specific genetic modifications for the study of the atherogenic role of specific cells or proteins. Also, several complex genetic murine models have been generated that develop coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction.
Getz, G. S., & Reardon, C. A. (2017). Animal Models of Atherosclerosis. In Animal Models for the Study of Human Disease: Second Edition (pp. 205–217). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809468-6.00008-5