PhD, 1981, Medical College of Georgia
Atherosclerosis: initial reversible stages
Our laboratory has been analyzing the relative roles of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension as the primary driving forces of atherosclerosis. The animal strain used in this investigation is the sodium-sensitive hypertensive Dahl rat, which allows the analysis of these pathologic forces either alone or in a variety of temporal combinations. One conclusion thus far is that structural alterations in the arterial wall associated with a preadolescent high fat diet have functional consequences (accelerated atherogenesis) when the animals are switched to the high sodium version of the same diet later in adolescence. Further lines of investigation in progress include the analysis of serum marker(s) associated with the earliest (and most reversible) histopathologic stages of the disease - lipid infiltration of the arterial intima and monocytic attachment to the endothelium.