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Progression and Disruption of Advanced Atherosclerotic Plaques in Murine Models

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The innominate artery is a predilection site for atherosclerotic lesion formation in hyperlipidemic mice. The lesions at this site in chow-fed apo E-/- mice progress from fatty streaks through stages that include atheroma with large necrotic areas, fibro-fatty nodules containing chondrocyte-like cells and highly calcified, acellular plaques. The advanced lesions in the innominate arteries of the apo E-/- mice exhibit a reproducible frequency of intra-plaque hemorrhage that occurs primarily as a result of fissures through lateral fatty streaks that form adjacent to or on top of the established plaques. However, this plaque disruption is not equivalent to plaque rupture in human lesions where there is rupture of well formed fibrous caps. The plaque disruption in the lesions of the chow-fed apo E-/- mice also do not lead to formation of occlusive thrombi, the predominant marker of plaque rupture in humans. Thus, although the lesions in the innominate arteries of hyperlipidemic mice progress to very advanced stages of the disease, they are not, in our opinion a model in which to study the mechanisms of plaque rupture in humans. The advanced lesions in the innominate arteries of the apo E-/- mice may however be adequate models for studying vascular fibrosis and calcification.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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