Evaluation of rat and rabbit sera lipoproteins in experimentally induced hyperlipidemia by analytical ultracentrifugation.
ABSTRACT Animals of various species are widely used as models with which to study atherosclerosis and the lipoprotein metabolism. The objective of this study was to investigate the lipoprotein profiles in Wistar rats and New Zealand white rabbits with experimentally induced hyperlipidemia by means of ultracentrifugation. The Schlieren curves were utilized to compare suckling and adult rat sera to determine whether aging causes alterations in lipoprotein profiles. A striking feature of the data is the high concentration of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), (>5.2 mmol/l cholesterol) in the 2-week old rat serum pool which was greatly decreased in the 3-weeks rat serum pool (<1.3 mmol/l cholesterol). Additional experiments were performed to permit a direct comparison of the amounts of lipoprotein present in rat sera in experimental hyperlipidemia post-Triton WR 1339 administration. Rapid changes in concentrations in very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), LDL and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) were observed after Triton injection. The administration of Triton WR 1339 to fasted rats resulted in an elevation of serum cholesterol levels. Triton physically alters VLDL, rendering them refractive to the action of lipolytic enzymes in the blood and tissues, preventing or delaying their removal from the blood. Whereas the VLDL concentration was increased markedly, those of LDL and HDL were decreased at 20 h after Triton treatment. Rabbits were fed a diet containing 2% cholesterol for 60 days to develop hyperlipidemia and atheromatous aortic plaques. A combination of preparative and analytical ultracentrifugation was used to investigate of LDL aliquots, to prepare radioactive-labeled lipoproteins and to study induced hyperlipidemia in rabbits. Analytical ultracentrifugation was applied to investigate the LDL flotation peaks before and after cholesterol feeding of rabbits. Modified forms of LDL were detected in the plasma of rabbits with experimentally induced atherosclerosis. ApoB-containing particles, migrating as LDL, intermediate density lipoproteins and VLDL were the most abundant lipoproteins. Gamma camera in vivo scintigraphy on rabbits with radiolabeled lipoproteins revealed visible signals corresponding to atherosclerotic plaques of the aorta and carotid arteries.