Basil Knnecke1, Sabine Grner2, Jrgen Fingerle2, Markus von Kienlin1
1Magnetic Resonance Imaging & Spectroscopy, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland; 2Metabolic Disease Biology Area, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Basel, Switzerland
Novel treatment strategies for atherosclerosis aim at plaque stabilisation and regression by plaque de-loading. The apolipoprotein-E-knockout (ApoE-/-) mouse is an accepted disease model for atherosclerosis that lends itself for preclinical drug intervention studies. Though imperatively needed in such studies, quantitative analysis of changes in plaque burden by conventional techniques is difficult in the light of slow disease progression and strong inter-individual variability. In the present large-scale MRI study on ApoE-/- mice we non-invasively assessed biological heterogeneity and successfully demonstrated plaque evolution in the three plaque-prone vascular beds comprising carotid arteries, aortic arch, and the innominate artery with putative vulnerable plaques.