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  • 1 Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Department of Physiology Isfahan Iran
  • | 2 Pasteur Institute of Iran Department of Physiology and Pharmacology Tehran Iran
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Several reports indicated the beneficial effects of short-term L-Arginine (L-Arg) administration on atherosclerosis processes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of chronic L-Arg supplementation on serum lipid profile, aortic Fatty Streak (FS) formation, and serum Nitric oxide (NO) concentration in Normal Diet (ND) and High-Cholesterol Diet (HCD) fed rabbits. 24 male rabbits were randomly divided into four groups (n=6 in each group) (i): ND for seven months; (ii): ND for 1 month plus ND + L-Arg for six months; (iii): HCD (1%) for 1 month plus HCD (0.5%) for six months; (iv): HCD (1%) for 1 month plus HCD (0.5%) + L-Arg for six months. At the end of the study, histological evaluation of aortic FS formation was performed. Blood samples were taken for serum lipid profile and NO concentrations. L-Arg did not change serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL and LDL/HDL ratio in normal and hypercholesterolemic rabbits (p>0.05). Histological examination of thoracic aortae revealed that the HCD group had higher FS formation compared to the ND group (2.1 ± 0.16 vs. 0 ± 0; respectively; p<0.05) and L-Arg supplementation did not attenuate FS formation in the HCD group (1.93 ± 0.17 compare to 2.1 ± 0.16; p>0.05). Serum NO level in the HCD group was higher than ND groups (p<0.05). Chronic L-Arg supplementation did not alter serum NO concentration either in the hypercholesterolemic or in the ND group (p>0.05). It seems that chronic L-Arg supplementation does not have beneficial effects on aortic fatty streak formation, serum lipids and NO concentrations in this model of experimental hypercholesterolemia.

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