Objective To investigate the effects of atorvastatin on atherosclerotic rabbits serum lipid concentration and the expressions of PECAM-1 and P-selectin in rabbit thoracic aorta.
Methods Atherosclerotic rabbit models were made by feeding the rabbits with high cholesterol. Thirty New Zealand big rabbits, weight (2.0±0.2) kg, were randomly divided into three groups. Group A was fed with common forage, Group B was fed with high cholesterol diet, and group C was fed with high cholesterol diet and atorvastatin simultaneously. After 16 weeks feeding, serum TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C were measured. The aortic arteries were isolated and the samples adjacent to aortic arch were harvested for formicroscopy detection. The PECAM-1 and P-selectin gene expressions in rabbit thoracic aorta were detected by RT-PCR.
Results The levels of TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C in group B were significantly increased compared with group B and group C (p<0.05), while the levels of TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C in group C were higher than those in group A (p<0.05). The aorta structure in group A was clear, the aortic intimal in group B was significantly thick and infiltrated by a large number of foam and inflammatory cells, but the endothelium in group C only showed focal infiltration of those cells observed under the microscope. The mRNA expression of PECAM-1 and P-selectin in group B were significantly increased than in group A (p<0.01), while those in group C, which were also higher than group A, were significantly decreased than in group B (p<0.05).
Conclusions Atorvastatin regulates lipid metabolism effectively and reduces the PECAM-1 and P-selectin expression, which are closely related to atherosclerosis.