We tried to develop an experimental model using mice for the primary screening of antiatherosclerotic agents. Male ICR strain mice were given a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with 10% linoleic acid for 14 weeks. Throughout the experimental period, weight gain of these mice was significantly inhibited as compared to that of control mice given a basal diet, but displayed a steady increase comparable to that of the high-cholesterol diet without linoleic acid. The cholesterol and linoleic acid-fed mice showed increased serum cholesterol and phospholipid levels, and decreased serum triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein(HDL) cholesterol levels and lecithin/cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) activity, as well as a markedly increased lipid peroxide level which was a characteristic appearance in the serum of this mouse model. At the end of the experiment, uniform and significant increases in cholesterol, notably cholesteryl ester, were observed in the aorta. Also found were marked decreases in the aorta contents of desmosine and isodesmosine, which are crosslinking amino acids present only in the elastin. Histological observations showed accumulations of fatty droplets in the intima. These changes were much less in mice receiving a highcholesterol diet without linoleic acid. In this mouse model, probucol prevented elevation of serum cholesterol, phospholipid, and cholesterol accumulation in the aorta. Increases in lipid peroxide level and decreases in LCAT activity were also prevented. These findings indicate that this mouse model is useful for primary screening of antiatherosclerotic agents with antioxidative activity. © 1993.
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