The development of atherosclerosis in mice can be dramatically affected by the composition of the diet. The nutrients that seem to have the greatest impact on the atherosclerotic process in not only mice but also humans are fat and cholesterol. For this reason, many murine diets have been created that contain different levels of cholesterol and numerous types of fat. Typically, these diets cause the accumulation of atherogenic, apoB-containing lipoproteins in plasma and depending upon the severity of the hypercholesterolemia stimulate the formation of aortic atherosclerosis that often progresses from fatty streak lesions to advanced, fibrous plaques. In this review, we compare the abilities of diets enriched with various amounts of cholesterol and different types of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats to promote atherosclerosis in an assortment of mouse models. In addition, we make recommendations concerning the utilization of these diets to promote atherosclerotic lesion formation in mice.
Keywords: monounsaturated fatty acids, Western-type diet, Apolipoprotein E, VLDL, walnut oil
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