Objectives To establish an atherosclerosis animal mode in the rabbit fed by atherogenic diet, and to observe the effects of atherogenic diet on rabbits’ body weight, mortality rate, blood lipids and morphological changes in blood vessels.
Methods 10 rabbits were randomly selected from 80 male New Zealand white rabbits and fed with normal diet; the rest 70 rabbits were fed with atherogenic diet for 4 weeks. At the end of the 4th week, the 70 rabbits were divided into atherogenic diet-insensitive group and atherogenic diet-sensitive group, depending on their serum TC levels. All the rabbits were continued to feed for 9 weeks, then they were anaesthetised with pentobarbital sodium (25 mg•kg-1, iv) and killed by bloodletting on Coomon carotid artery. Aortic arch, thoracic aorta, abdominal aorta, femoral artery and coomon carotid artery were taken for morphological observation.
Results The vessel walls of rabbits fed by normal diet were smooth and glossy by macroscopic observation. Meanwhile, the vessel walls from atherogenic diet- sensitive group and atherogenic diet-insensitive group were rough and narrow, with the appearance of AS plaques. However, the femoral artery and coomon carotid artery in atherogenic diet groups did not show any changes. There was no AS plaque in blood vessels from the rabbits fed by normal diet when observed by light microscope. Meanwhile, the aortic arch, thoracic aorta and abdominal aorta form both atherogenic diet-sensitive group and atherogenic diet-insensitive group had rough and thick inner membrane, and contained a great quantity of foam cells. The endothelial cells swelled and degenerated, and macrophages and extracellular lipid deposition appeared in both in intima and media. However, only a small quantity of fibrous plaque appeared in femoral artery, instead of AS plaque.
Conclusions The research indicated that AS plaque may appear in all the vessels, and it is more severe than in atherogenic diet-sensitive group. Besides, AS plaque appeared earlier and more severe in large arteries than