Background: Tree shrew and beijing duck are regarded as animal models resistant to atherosclerosis (AS). This study was carried out to discover the potential mechanism.
Methods: Blood samples were collected from healthy men and male animals. Plasma lipid profile and activities of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) were measured, compared and analyzed in human, tree shrew, and Beijing duck.
Results: The results showed that there were species differences on plasma lipid profile and activities of CETP and PLTP in the three species. Compared with human, tree shrew and beijing duck had higher high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)/total cholesterol (TC) and HDL-C/low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) ratios, but lower CETP and PLTP activities. In the three species, CETP and PLTP activities were negatively related with the ratio of HDL-C/LDL-C.
Conclusions: The present study suggested that low plasma CETP and PLTP activities may lead to a high HDL-C/LDL-C ratio and a high resistance to AS finally in tree shrew and beijing duck. Moreover, low PLTP activity may also make the animals resistant to AS by the relative high vitamin E content of apoB-containing lipoproteins and high anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of HDL particles. A detailed study in the future is recommended.