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December 12, 1936


JAMA. 1936;107(24):1970-1971. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770500036012

The feeding of cholesterol to rabbits has been repeatedly shown to produce an experimental atherosclerosis characterized by the deposition of lipids in both the intima and the media of the aorta and less frequently perhaps of other blood vessels.1 The exact nature of the changes involved in the production of the lesions, however, is not clearly understood. It was once thought that the vascular changes were primarily dependent on the development of a hypercholesterolemia.2 If for unknown reasons the lipid content of the blood remained normal, cholesterol was not deposited in the walls of the vessels. Subsequent studies have indicated, however, that other factors are undoubtedly involved. In a recent investigation,3 for example, the feeding of cholesterol to rabbits for as long as thirty-one days in amounts sufficient to cause a hypercholesterolemia failed to produce atherosclerosis. Nor did treatment with substances injurious to the vascular system, as