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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Jun;24(6):1006-14. Epub 2004 Apr 15.

Atherosclerosis in the apolipoprotein-E-deficient mouse: a decade of progress.

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Department of Pathology, Hadassah University Hospital, Kiryat Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel.


Arguably the most critical advancement in the elucidation of factors affecting atherogenesis has been the development of mouse models of atherosclerosis. Among available models, the apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mouse is particularly popular because of its propensity to spontaneously develop atherosclerotic lesions on a standard chow diet. A Medline search reveals over 645 articles dedicated to studies using this reliable and convenient "super" animal model since its inception (Piedrahita JA et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1992;89:4471-4475; Plump AS et al, Cell 1992;71:343-353) with a more or less steady increase from year to year. This review will examine our present understanding of the pathology and progression of plaques in this animal and highlight some of the nutritional, pharmacological, and genetic studies that have enhanced this understanding.

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