Clinical observations suggest that transplant coronary artery disease (TxCAD) is immunologically mediated but may be accelerated by metabolic derangements. We developed a rat model of heterotopic heart transplantation in the presence of diabetes and dyslipidemia to further study their role in TxCAD development.Major histocompatibility complex-mismatched strains of inbred rats underwent heterotopic heart transplantation (ACI-to-Lewis allografts). Diabetes (DM) was induced by streptozotocin injection (80 mg/kg) after transplantation; dyslipidemia was worsened by feeding of a 60% high-fructose diet (+F). Allograft transplants were divided into four groups: (1) +DM/+F; (2) +DM/-F; (3) -DM/+F; and (4) -DM/-F. Isograft transplants (Lewis to Lewis, +DM/+/-F) were controls. All animals received daily cyclosporine (5 mg/kg). Grafts surviving > 30 days were evaluated for TxCAD on histological sections and graded 0 to 5 for intimal thickness. All streptozotocin-treated animals were diabetic within 2 weeks, with fourfold increases in plasma glucose concentrations versus nondiabetics. Severe TxCAD was observed in diabetic allografts only. The mean grade of TxCAD in diabetic allografts was 3.2 +/- 0.5 versus 1.1 +/- 0.4 in diabetic isografts (P < 0.03) and zero TxCAD in nondiabetic allografts (P < or = 0.0001). Fructose feeding resulted in a 1.5-fold higher triglyceride and a 1.3-fold higher cholesterol level versus the regular diet (-F) but showed no independent contribution to the development of TxCAD.These findings suggest that metabolic derangements associated with diabetes play an important role in TxCAD development in heterotopic ACI-to-Lewis rat heart transplantation. In this model of TxCAD in major histocompatibility complex-mismatched, diabetic, and dyslipidemic rats, immunologic and metabolic mechanisms that contribute to TxCAD can be further delineated and approaches to its prevention assessed.
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View details for PubMedID 9626177