Relatively few cases of myocardial infarction associated with coronary artery atherosclerosis have been described previously in macaques. In this study the authors report the prevalence and characteristics of coronary artery atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in 10 rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and two cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) macaques that were fed atherogenic diets for 16 months or longer. Our findings show clearly that myocardial infarction occurs in macaques with diet-induced atherosclerosis. The frequency seems to be related to the species, composition of the atherogenic diet, and length of time fed the atherogenic diet. The myocardial lesions are remarkably similar to those described in human beings in terms of location and gross and microscopic characteristics. The characteristics of coronary artery atherosclerosis, including the occurrence of thrombosis, severe stenosis, mineralization, atheronecrosis, and sterol clefts, especially in animals fed the atherogenic diets for longer periods of time, also closely resemble those of the arterial lesions found in human beings. The greatest prevalence of myocardial infarcts was found in rhesus monkeys fed a cholesterol-containing diet with 40% of calories supplied by peanut oil and in cynomolgus macaques from Malaya that were fed the same amount of cholesterol with 40% of calories from lard. Electrocardiographic abnormalities as well as the occurrence of unexpected and relatively sudden death in several of these nonhuman primates are also consistent with signs frequently observed in human beings.
Antioxidants such as tocotrienols may protect against atherosclerosis since tissue injury from free radicals is a final common pathway of damage in arterial disease. In this study, the effects of tocotrienols on serum cholesterol, lipid peroxides, and aorta atheroma were assessed in rabbits fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. Tocotrienols were more effective than tocopherols in preventing increases in serum LDL (p = 0.03) and total cholesterol (p = 0.008) levels in the cholesterol-fed rabbits. Elevation of serum lipid peroxides was effectively suppressed by tocotrienols (p = 0.01). Both tocopherols and tocotrienols offered significant protection against atheroma in the rabbit aorta, but tocotrienols had a stronger hypolipidaemic effect.
Comment in: Pathmanathan R, Wong KT. Protection by tocotrienols against hypercholesterolaemia and atheroma. Med J Malaysia. 1995 Mar;50(1):117
The fruit extract of Garcinia atroviridis (G. atroviridis) contains hydroxycitric acid and flavonoids, which have been reported to have a hypolipidaemic property. This extract with solvent methanol was used to investigate its effects on serum lipid profiles of guinea pigs fed a high cholesterol diet.
A clinicohistological study of acute atherosis in molar pregnancy was undertaken. Maternal decidual vessels in currettage samples of 38 histologically confirmed complete hydatidiform moles were examined histologically for acute atherosis, recognised as fibrinoid necrosis of the smooth muscle wall with a perivascular mononuclear cell infiltrate, with or without lipophages. Acute atherosis was detected in eight of 38 cases, an incidence of 18.4%. All the patients were normotensive. The significance of acute atherosis in molar pregnancy remains to be clarified.
The present study aims to examine the effects of a palm-oil-derived vitamin E mixture containing tocotrienol (approximately 70%) and tocopherol (approximately 30%) on plasma lipids and on the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in rabbits given a 2% cholesterol diet. Eighteen New Zealand White rabbits (2.2-2.8 kg) were divided into three groups; group 1 (control) was fed a normal diet, group 2 (AT) was fed a 2% cholesterol diet and group 3 (PV) was fed a 2% cholesterol diet with oral palm vitamin E (60 mg/kg body weight) given daily for 10 weeks. There were no differences in the total cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels between the AT and PV groups. The PV group had a significantly higher concentrations of HDL-c and a lower TC/HDL-c ratio compared to the AT group (P < 0.003). The aortic tissue content of cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesions were comparable in both the AT and PV groups. However, the PV group had a lower content of plasma and aortic tissue malondialdehyde (P < 0.005). Our findings suggest that despite a highly atherogenic diet, palm vitamin E improved some important plasma lipid parameters, reduced lipid peroxidation but did not have an effect on the atherosclerotic plaque formation.