Shimada, K., K. Yoshida, H. Tadokoro, M. Ueda, M. Shiomi, S. Kitsukawa, A. Takami, R. Komatsu, K. Suzuki, S. Tanada and Y. Masuda. Adenosine-induced coronary flow reserve in Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits. Japanese Circulation Journal English Edition. Dec. 64:971-976, 2000.

The Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbit develops coronary atherosclerosis and hypercholesterolemia because of a genetic deficiency of low-density lipoprotein receptors and is therefore a good animal model for studying the relationships of coronary atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia and coronary flow reserve. The aim of the present study was to assess myocardial perfusion at baseline and during adenosine infusion (0.2 in 8 WHHL rabbits (13.8+/-0.5 months) with N-13-ammonia, small-animal positron emission tomography (PET) and colored microspheres. Results were compared with those from 6 age-matched Japanese white rabbits. Plaque distribution was also examined in the extramural coronary arteries. All 8 WHHL rabbits had coronary plaques, with 6 showing multiple plaques. Mean global myocardial blood flow (ml.min(-1).g(-1)) did not differ significantly between control and WHHL groups both at baseline (3.67+/-0.72 vs 4.26+/-1.12 ml.min(-1).g(-1), p=NS) and with adenosine (7.92+/-2.00 vs 9.27+/-2.91 ml.min(-1).g(-1), p=NS), nor did coronary flow reserve (2.16+/-0.37 vs 2.18+/- 0.41, p=NS). None showed evidence of regional perfusion abnormalities by visual and semiquantitative analyses of PET images. It was concluded that WHHL rabbits preserve adenosine-induced coronary flow reserve despite coronary atherosclerosis and hypercholesterolemia, suggesting that a compensatory mechanism develops in this animal model.