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24 May 2015 : Animal Research

The Role of CD36 in the Effect of Arginine in Atherosclerotic Rats

Xin WangBCDEF, Jianming WeiBC, Lijian PanBC, Yijun ShiBDF, Haihong LinBDF, Hui GongACG

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1494-1499

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of arginine in the development of atherosclerosis in rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with arginine and to evaluate the role of CD36 in this process.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 40 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to 4 groups: control group, fat diet group, simvastatin group, and arginine group. They were fed for 12 weeks and were then sacrificed. Immunohistochemical CD36 expression and pathology was investigated in the aorta; CD36 expression in mononuclear cells was detected by Western blot and RT-PCR.

RESULTS: The thickness of the aortal intima, media, and I/M significantly decreased in the arginine group rats compared with those in the fat diet group (P<0.05). CD36 expression was up-regulated in rats in the fat diet group compared with the control group and was down-regulated in rats in the arginine group compared with rats in the fat diet group.

CONCLUSIONS: The addition of arginine has a significant effect on reducing rat atherosclerosis development, which may be attributed to both the down-regulation of CD36 expression in rat aortic endothelial and blood mononuclear cells and the NO pathway.

Keywords: Antigens, CD36 - metabolism, Animals, Aorta - pathology, Arginine - pharmacology, Atherosclerosis - prevention & control, Blotting, Western, Diet, High-Fat - adverse effects, Dietary Supplements, Rats, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Statistics, Nonparametric, Tunica Intima - pathology

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