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Hartwig, Helene; Silvestre-Roig, Carlos; Hendrikse, Jeffrey; Beckers, Linda; Paulin, Nicole; Heiden, Kim van der; Braster, Quinte; Drechsler, Maik; Daemen, Mat J.; Lutgens, Esther and Soehnlein, Oliver (2015): Atherosclerotic Plaque Destabilization in Mice: A Comparative Study.
In: PLOS ONE 10(10), e0141019 [PDF, 2MB]

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Atherosclerosis-associated diseases are the main cause of mortality and morbidity in western societies. The progression of atherosclerosis is a dynamic process evolving from early to advanced lesions that may become rupture-prone vulnerable plaques. Acute coronary syndromes are the clinical manifestation of life-threatening thrombotic events associated with high-risk vulnerable plaques. Hyperlipidemic mouse models have been extensively used in studying the mechanisms controlling initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. However, the understanding of mechanisms leading to atherosclerotic plaque destabilization has been hampered by the lack of proper animal models mimicking this process. Although various mouse models generate atherosclerotic plaques with histological features of human advanced lesions, a consensus model to study atherosclerotic plaque destabilization is still lacking. Hence, we studied the degree and features of plaque vulnerability in different mouse models of atherosclerotic plaque destabilization and find that the model based on the placement of a shear stress modifier in combination with hypercholesterolemia represent with high incidence the most human like lesions compared to the other models.

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