A new experimental procedure for the production of arteriosclerosis in the bird is described. The subcutaneous implantation of diethylstilbestrol by means of which a sustained increase in the concentration of cholesterol, phospholipid, and neutral fat can be readily established, is shown to induce atherosclerosis of the aorta.
The atherosclerosis has been compared with that artificially induced in the bird by the prolonged feeding of cholesterol and also with that occurring spontaneously. The stilbestrol-induced lesion more closely resembled the spontaneously occurring one in the bird than did that produced by cholesterol feeding. But all 3 lesions were fundamentally similar, differing only in the amounts and proportions of the various lipid constituents present.
The concentrations of cholesterol in plasma of the stilbestrol-treated and cholesterol-fed birds were of the same order. Yet cholesterol constituted a greater proportion of the lipids deposited in the arterial wall of the cholesterol-fed than in that of the stilbestrol-treated birds. This finding suggests that the cholesterol content of the vascular lesion depends not only on the absolute concentration of cholesterol in plasma, but also on the proportion of cholesterol to other lipid constituents in plasma.