The recent failure of candidate drugs like cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) and acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) inhibitors calls for a revised approach for screening anti-atherosclerotic drugs and development of new models of atherosclerosis. For this it is important to understand the mechanism of the disease in a particular model. Models simultaneously showing hyperlipidemia, inflammation and associated complications of diabetes and hypertension will serve the purpose better as they mimic the actual clinical condition. Besides this, analyzing candidate molecules in vivo, in vitro and at various levels of atherosclerosis progression is important. Models based on various cells and process involved in atherosclerosis should be used for screening candidate molecules. The challenge lies in bridging the gap between genetically friendly small animal and human-like bigger animal models. Sequencing of the mouse and human genome, development of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) database and in silico quantitative trait loci (QTL) linkage analysis may enhance the understanding of atherosclerosis and help develop new therapeutic targets.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis, mechanism, animal, cell, model, target, assay, complication
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