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Effect of the antioxidant N,N'-diphenyl 1,4-phenylenediamine (DPPD) on atherosclerosis in apoE-deficient mice.

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Apolipoprotein (apo) E-deficient mice develop atherosclerotic lesions that contain epitopes formed during the oxidative modification of lipoproteins, and they demonstrate high titers of circulating autoantibodies against such epitopes, suggesting that this murine strain may provide a model to investigate the atherogenic mechanisms of oxidized lipoproteins (Palinski et al, Arterioscler Thromb. 1994; 14:605-616). To test the hypothesis that lipoprotein oxidation contributes to lesion formation in apoE-deficient mice, we studied the effect of the antioxidant N,N'-diphenyl 1,4-phenylenediamine (DPPD) in mice fed a high-fat diet containing 0.15% cholesterol. Animals were divided into two subgroups matched for sex and plasma cholesterol levels, and DPPD (0.5% wt/wt) was added to the diet of one subgroup. Throughout the 6 months of intervention, DPPD treatment had no significant effect on plasma cholesterol. Plasma levels of DPPD at the end of the experiment were 33.1 mumol/L. As judged by resistance to loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids, lipoproteins (d < 1.019 g/mL) from DPPD-treated animals showed greater resistance to copper-induced oxidation than lipoproteins from control animals. In addition, there was a greater than twofold prolongation of the lag time in the formation of conjugated dienes in the LDL and IDL fractions of DPPD-treated mice. Atherosclerosis was significantly reduced, by 36% in the DPPD-treated mice (14.0 +/- 4.53% of aortic surface area versus 21.9 +/- 11.6%; n = 32; P < .02). These results are consistent with the hypothesis that lipoprotein oxidation contributes to atherogenesis in apoE-deficient mice. However, further studies with other antioxidants are needed to validate this hypothesis.

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