Rapid Quantification of Aortic Lesions in ApoE(-/-) Mice

John H Beattie, Susan J Duthie, In-Sook Kwun, Tae-Youl Ha, Margaret J Gordon

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    The quantification of aortic lesions is an important endpoint analysis for evaluating atherogenesis in mouse models of atherosclerosis. Morphometric methods involving the staining of aorta with a Sudan lysochrome followed by image analysis of the stained lesion area are commonly used. We have developed a more rapid method involving solubilisation of the stain retained by aortic lesions. In 2 separate studies, 5-week-old male apoE(-/-) and C57BL/6 wild-type (apoE(+/+)) mice were given a high fat (21%), Western-type diet for 13, 15 or 25 weeks. At study termination, the descending thoracic aorta (DA) and/or aortic arch (AA) were stained with Oil Red O (ORO). The incorporated stain was extracted using chloroform/methanol (2:1) solvent and quantified by spectrophotometry at 520 nm. In study 1 (13 weeks), ORO stain in the AA and DA of apoE(-/-) mice was 1.9 and 1.4 times higher than background staining of apoE(+/+) aorta tissue, respectively. At 15 and 25 weeks (study 2), ORO stain in the AA of apoE(-/-) mice was 1.9 and 2.5 times higher than the background, respectively. We conclude that the ORO solubilisation technique applied to AA samples is a very useful and rapid method for atherosclerotic lesion quantification. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-352
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Vascular Research
    Issue number4
    Early online date10 Jan 2009
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


    • atherosclerosis
    • atherosclerotic lesions
    • apoE(-/-) mice
    • plaque quantification
    • lysochrome
    • oil red o
    • mouse models
    • apolipoprotein-E
    • deficient mice
    • apoe
    • apoE–/– mice

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