Intimal Thickening in Normochoiesterolemic Rhesus Monkeys Fed Low Supplements of Dietary Cholesterol
Rhesus monkeys were fed a high-fat diet containing either 0, 43, or 129 µg/kcal of cholesterol for 18 months. In the monkeys on the cholesterol-supplemented diets, changes in plasma cholesterol remained within the range found in monkeys fed the cholesterol-free diet. Monkeys on the cholesterol-supplemented diets were compared with monkeys given no dietary cholesterol with range-matched plasma cholesterol; intimal thickness of the aorta and branch arteries, distribution of lipoprotein cholesterol, and tissue content of cholesterol in aorta and liver were considered. The monkeys on the cholesterol-supplemented diets showed intimal thickening with more sudanophilia and increased aortic cholesterol, a decrease in plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and an increase in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the monkeys fed the higher amount of dietary cholesterol showed an increase in hepatic cholesterol. No null point for the effect of dietary cholesterol on arterial intima was found even at an intake level far below that conventionally used for the induction of experimental atherosclerosis in the nonhuman primate. The intimal changes found in response to very low cholesterol intake imply that subtle qualitative alterations in lipoproteins are of critical importance to our understanding of lesion induction.
- plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
- high-fat diet
- plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
- arterial cholesterol
- distribution of lipoprotein cholesterol
- experimental atherosclerosis
- Received August 17, 1973.
- Accepted January 23, 1974.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.