Author + information
- Received August 23, 1982
- Revision received January 11, 1983
- Accepted January 14, 1983
- Published online June 1, 1983.
- Jean-Lucien Rouleau, MD,
- William W. Parmley, MD, FACC*,
- John Stevens, BS,
- Joan Wikman-Coffelt, PHD,
- Richard Sievers, BS,
- Robert W. Mahley, MD, PHD,
- Richard J. Havel, MD,
- Walter Brecht
- ↵*Address for reprints William W. Parmley, MD, 1186-Moffitt Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, 3rd and Parnassus Avenues, San Francisco, California 94143.
The effect of verapamil, a drug that reduces the concentration of intracellular calcium, on atherogenesis was evaluated in rabbits fed a cholesterol-rich diet for 10 weeks. Ten rabbits received oral verapamil, 8 mg/kg daily; eight received the same oral dose and 0.5 mg/kg daily subcutaneously; nine received oral lanthanum, 35 mg/kg daily, and nine were controls. Over the 10 week period, all groups had average serum cholesterol levels greater than 1,500 mg/dl (normal = 90 ± 63 mg/dl). At the end of the experiment, the aortas were removed, opened and stained for lipid with Sudan IV. The extent of atherosclerosis was determined by planimetry. The group receiving oral and parenteral verapamil had significantly less atherosclerosis (25 ± 26% of total intimai area; mean ± standard deviation), as compared with the controls (73 ± 24%). Reduction of atherosclerosis with oral verapamil (51 ± 22%) and lanthanum (59 ± 31) was not statistically significant. Indexes of contractility in isolated right ventricular papillary muscles (developed tension at maximal length [Lmax] and maximal velocity of shortening [Vmax]) were reduced in the group treated with oral and parenteral verapamil, but not in the others. It is concluded that verapamil suppresses the development of atherosclerosis in rabbits fed a cholesterol-rich diet.
This study was supported in part by Susan and Don Schleicher, San Francisco, California, and by Grant HL-14237 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
- Received August 23, 1982.
- Revision received January 11, 1983.
- Accepted January 14, 1983.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation