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Atherosclerosis. 2009 Dec;207(2):368-73. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2009.04.041. Epub 2009 May 13.

Air pollution and antibodies against modified lipoproteins are associated with atherosclerosis and vascular remodeling in hyperlipemic mice.

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Laboratory of Soropidemiology and Immunobiology Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


We analyzed the impact of chronic exposure to urban air pollution on the development of atherosclerosis. Hyperlipemic mice (LDLR(-/-)) were submitted to a high fat diet and air pollution for four months. We measured the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative modifications (TBARS), the presence of anti-oxLDL and an apoB-derived peptide (apoB-D) in blood and the degree of atherosclerosis in the aortic arch. Air pollution increased the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation as well as anti-oxLDL and anti-apo-B levels. These levels were even higher than in mice submitted to a high fat diet and non-polluted air. The lipid content of the atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta was increased in groups with a high cholesterol diet independently of the air quality. However, the thickness of the arterial wall was greater in mice fed a high lipid diet with polluted air. Thus, we conclude that urban air pollution exacerbates the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation, atherogenesis and vascular remodeling in hyperlipemic mice and that an immune response accompanies this process.

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