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Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2019 Jun 1;11:203-213.

Non-genetic rats models for atherosclerosis research: from past to present.

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Laboratory of Preclinical Research of Natural Products, Paranaense University, Umuarama, PR, Brazil.
Laboratory of Electrophysiology and Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Federal University of Grande Dourados, Dourados, MS, Brazil,


Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory, progressive, and chronic illness that involves several molecular and epigenetic factors. Despite treatment limitations, clinical and therapeutic approaches have undeniably changed radically in recent decades through better knowledge of the pathophysiological basis of the disease, which has considerably improved patients' survival and quality of life. Some of these advances are attributable to basic biomedical research that provides insights into a better understanding and identification of new molecular and cellular targets for atherosclerosis treatment. Although rodent models have contributed substantially to a better understanding of the development of atherosclerosis, the accuracy of these models remains controversial. Research that utilizes genetic rodent models is well established, but the use of specific diets that are associated with other risk factors (e.g., hypertension, hormone deprivation, and pharmacological tools) is still debatable. The present review provides an update on non-genetic rat models of atherosclerosis and an overview of the main methodologies that are currently available.


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