Article: article from journal or magazin.
MRI visualized neo-intimal dissection and co-localization of novel apoptotic markers apolipoprotein C-1, ceramide and caspase-3 in a Watanabe hyperlipidemic rabbit model
PURPOSE: Apoptotic arterial wall vascular smooth muscle cell death is known to contribute to plaque vulnerability and rupture. Novel apoptotic markers like apolipoprotein C-I have been implicated in apoptotic human vascular smooth muscle cell death via recruiting a neutral sphingomyelinase (N-SMase)-ceramide pathway. In vivo relevance of these observations in an animal model of plaque rupture has not been shown. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using Watanabe rabbits, we investigated three different groups (group 1, three normal Watanabe rabbits; group 2, six Watanabe rabbits fed with high cholesterol diet for 3 months; group 3, five Watanabe rabbits with similar diet but additional endothelial denudation). We followed progression of atherosclerosis to pharmacologically induced plaque rupture non-invasively using novel 3D magnetic resonance Fast-Field-Echo angiography (TR=7.2, TE=3.6 ms, matrix=512 x 512) and Fast-Spin-Echo vessel wall imaging methods (TR=3 heart beats, TE=10.5 ms, matrix=304 x 304) on 1.5 T MRI. MRI provided excellent image quality with good MRI versus histology vessel wall thickness correlation (r=0.8). In six animals of group 2/3 MRI detected neo-intimal dissection in the abdominal aorta which was accompanied by immuno-histochemical demonstration of concomitant aforementioned novel apoptotic markers, previously implicated in the apoptotic smooth muscle cell death in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: Our studies suggest a potential role for the signal transduction pathway involving apolipoprotein C-I for in vivo apoptosis and atherosclerotic plaque rupture visualized by MRI.
Animals, Aorta/metabolism/*pathology, Apolipoprotein C-I/metabolism, Apoptosis/*physiology, Atherosclerosis/*physiopathology, Biological Markers, Caspase 3/metabolism, Ceramides, Disease Models, Animal, Hyperlipidemias/*pathology, Magnetic Resonance Angiography, Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/*metabolism/*pathology, Rabbits, Rupture, Signal Transduction, Tunica Intima/pathology
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