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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2005 Oct;46(4):481-6.

Rapamycin attenuates atherosclerotic plaque progression in apolipoprotein E knockout mice: inhibitory effect on monocyte chemotaxis.

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1
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA.

Abstract

Rapamycin has been shown to reduce neointimal thickening in the setting of balloon angioplasty and chronic graft vessel disease. This study was designed to test the effect of oral rapamycin on atherosclerotic plaque progression and the possible mechanism involved. Apolipoprotein E (apoE) knockout mice were fed either a diet supplemented with cholesterol or with cholesterol and rapamycin. At 4 and 8 weeks, quantitative analyses of plaque area and macrophage numbers were determined. Plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and whole-blood rapamycin levels were measured. Rapamycin could be detected in the blood of mice (117+/-7 pg/mL). In mice fed with rapamycin, atherosclerotic lesions covered 22% of the aortic arch as compared with 41% in cholesterol-fed mice. The macrophage count was significantly lower in the rapamycin-fed mice as compared with cholesterol-fed mice. Rapamycin, in a dose-dependent manner, inhibited monocyte chemotaxis elicited by stromal cell-derived factor-1. Lesions in the cholesterol-fed mice had complex atherosclerotic plaque with acellular core, cholesterol clefts, and an abundant collection of monocytes/macrophages. Lesions in the rapamycin-fed mice were mainly composed of monocytes/macrophages. Oral rapamycin is effective in slowing the progression of atherosclerosis. Along with its multitude actions, attenuation of monocyte chemotaxis may be one more way by which rapamycin attenuates plaque progression.

PMID:
16160601
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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