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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1976;67(00):33-64.

The nonhuman primates as models for studying human atherosclerosis: studies on the chimpanzee, the baboon and the rhesus macacus.


There is no dearth of experimental techniques for producing the hyperlipoproteinemia resulting in atherosclerotic complications and for myocardial infarction in the non human primates. Most of the recent experiments which have given information of great value have been studied with relatively expensive animals for a long period of time up to 6-7 years. It is evident that no animal model perfectly duplicates the human disease or satisfies all desirable requirements. The chimpanzees, representatives of the New World monkeys, have circulating plasma lipoproteins identical to man in composition as well as in function. The results reported above indicate that the compositional changes of chimpanzee plasma lipoproteins in response to dietary changes reflect the appearance of type II and type IV hyperlipoproteinemia similar to the human disease. Moreover, there are more indications about the existence of genotype II a in the chimpanzee, and also on the influence of stress on the plasma lipids, so that the developed intimal lesions similar to the human pathology are in this sense multifactorially influenced. From a phylogenetic point of view the chimpanzee is closer to man than any other non human primate. Furthermore, the chimpanzee lipoproteins are useful models for understanding the relationship between function and structure of the plasma lipoproteins in health and disease. Baboon and rhesus monkeys show similar results, but more differences to the human lipoproteins in health and disease were observed. At present it appears that the most useful models of human atherosclerosis are those induced in the non human primates, especially in the chimpanzee.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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