THE APPLICATION OF STEREOLOGICAL METHODS FOR THE QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE ATHEROSCLEROTIC LESIONS IN RABBITS

Petr Nachtigal, Vladimír Semecký, Andrea Gojová, Martin Kopecký, Viktor Beneš, Radka Jŭzková

Abstract

Atherosclerosis is a chronic metabolic and inflammatory disease of vascular arteries. Insome cases, it comes the accumulation of the inflammatory cells and extracellular matrix in vessel intima, which lead to the narrowing of the vessel lumen. The aim of this study was introduce stereological methods for the quantification of atherosclerotic changes in the aorta of New Zealand White rabbits in dependence on the period of feeding with atherogenic diet containing 0.4% of cholesterol. The Cavalieri estimator was used for the estimation of the volume of atherosclerotic lesions. The area of the atherosclerotic lesions and the area fraction of free vessel lumen were determined with the image analysis software Lucia. The principle of the point counting method was used for the estimation of the volume fraction of collagen in atherosclerotic lesions and the principle of the optical disector was used for the estimation of the number of cells per unit volume in atherosclerotic lesions. The results obtained by the stereological methods confirmed the induction and progression of atherogenic changes in rabbit vessel wall in cholesterol fed animals. The methods applied in this study will be used in our prospective studies where the effect of hypolipidemic drug treatment on atherogenic process will be monitored

Keywords
atherosclerosis; Cavalieri principle; collagen; disector; number of cells per unit volume; volume estimation

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.v21.p165-174

Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)