We have investigated serum chemokines for their suitability as markers of atherosclerosis development in apoE (apolipoprotein E)-deficient (−/−) mice. Female C3H apoE−/− and C57BL apoE−/− mice were fed on either diet W (Western diet; 6 weeks) or normal rodent diet (12 weeks). Serum lipids (0, 6 and 12 weeks) and terminal chemokine levels were measured using commercially available assays, whereas the lesion area was determined using Oil-Red O-stained aortic sections. Serum lipids were higher in C3H apoE−/− mice for both diets throughout the study; however, lesions were significantly larger in C57BL apoE−/− mice fed on either diet. Chemokine levels were significantly lower in C3H apoE−/− mice fed on the normal diet, but no difference was observed between the two groups fed on diet W. We conclude that serum chemokine levels are potential markers for atherosclerosis susceptibility in C3H and C57BL apoE−/− mice fed on a normal rodent diet.

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