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Circulation. 2002 Sep 3;106(10):1282-7.

Effect of low-dose aspirin on vascular inflammation, plaque stability, and atherogenesis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice.

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Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104, USA.



Atherosclerosis is a complex vascular inflammatory disease. Low-dose aspirin is a mainstay in the prevention of vascular complications of atherosclerosis. We wished to determine the effect of low-dose aspirin on vascular inflammation, plaque composition, and atherogenesis in LDL receptor-deficient mice fed a high fat diet.


In LDL receptor-deficient mice fed a high fat diet compared with control mice, low-dose aspirin induced a significant decrease in circulating levels and vascular formation of soluble intercellular molecule-1, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-12p 40, without affecting lipid levels. This was associated with significant reduction of the nuclear factor kappaB activity in the aorta. Low-dose aspirin also significantly reduced the extent of atherosclerosis. Finally, aortic vascular lesions of the aspirin-treated animals showed 57% reduction (P<0.05) in the amount of macrophage cells, 77% increase in smooth muscle cells (P<0.05), and 23% increase in collagen (P<0.05).


Our results suggest that in murine atherosclerosis, low-dose aspirin suppresses vascular inflammation and increases the stability of atherosclerotic plaques, both of which, together with its antiplatelet activity, contribute to its antiatherogenic effect. We conclude that low-dose aspirin might be rationally evaluated in the progression and evolution of human atherosclerotic plaque.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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