Intracranial arteries of human fetuses are more resistant to hypercholesterolemia-induced fatty streak formation than extracranial arteries

Claudio Napoli, Joseph L. Witztum, Filomena De Nigris, Giuseppe Palumbo, Francesco P. D'Armiento, Wulf Palinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background - Atherosclerotic lesions in intracranial arteries occur later and are less extensive than in extracranial arteries. To investigate potential mechanisms responsible for this difference, in particular the atherogenic response to hypercholesterolemia and LDL oxidation, we compared the extent of fatty streak formation and the composition of these very early lesions in intracranial arteries of human fetuses from normocholesterolemic and hypercholesterolemic mothers with those in extracranial arteries. Methods and Results - Lesions were quantified by computer-assisted image analysis of 30 oil red O-stained sections, each from the middle cerebral, basilar, and common carotid arteries and the abdominal aorta of human fetuses (spontaneous abortions and premature newborns who died within 12 hours of birth; both of fetal age 6.2±1.3 months) from 43 hypercholesterolemic mothers and 34 normocholesterolemic mothers. Macrophages, apolipoprotein B, and 2 epitopes of oxidized LDL in lesions were determined immunocytochemically. Activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in the arterial wall were also determined. Lesion numbers and sizes were dramatically greater in the abdominal aorta (area of the largest lesion per section: 66.5± 10.9 x 103 μm2) and the carotid (11.6±5.3 X 103 μm2) than in the basilar and middle cerebral artery (0.4±0.1 and 0.8±0.2 x 103 μm2, respectively; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2003-2010
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation
Volume99
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 20 1999

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Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Brain
  • Free radicals
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Lipoproteins
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Napoli, C., Witztum, J. L., De Nigris, F., Palumbo, G., D'Armiento, F. P., & Palinski, W. (1999). Intracranial arteries of human fetuses are more resistant to hypercholesterolemia-induced fatty streak formation than extracranial arteries. Circulation, 99(15), 2003-2010.