A study was made of the relationship of blood lipids to the development of experimental atherosclerosis.
Rabbits fed a diet containing cholesterol were found to develop hyperlipemia characterized by a great increase in blood cholesterol and a much lesser increase in blood phospholipids; after several weeks they manifested conspicuous atherosclerosis of the aorta, as has often been observed by others. Comparable rabbits fed the same diets containing added cholesterol were given in addition repeated intravenous injections of the surface-active agents Tween 80 and Triton A20; these animals developed hyperlipemia which was characterized by a great increase in blood cholesterol and an equivalent or even greater increase in phospholipids, and they had much less atherosclerosis than did the control rabbits fed cholesterol alone.
In further experiments it was observed that repeated intravenous injections of Tween 80 did not result in resorption of previously induced atherosclerosis in rabbits.
The findings are discussed in relation to the pathogenesis of natural and experimental atherosclerosis.