The rabbit in atherosclerosis research


  • Alicja Mortensen Institute of Toxicology, National Food Agency
  • Birgit Fischer Hansen Department of Pathology and Cardiology, Hvidovre Hospital
  • Jorgen Fischer Hansen Department of Pathology and Cardiology, Hvidovre Hospital



The rabbit was the first animal model in atherosclerosis research and it has been the most popular species during the last nine decades despite some critique concerning the nature ofthe experimental atherosclerosis The rabbit fulfils a number of
practical and biological criteria for being an ideal animal model tor human atherosclerosis. The shortcomings of the Classical rabbit model, the Cholesterol-fed rabbit, concerning the morphology of the lesions have been overcome. and new  genetic variants which offer expanded possibilities of exploring the relationship between lipid metabolism and development of atherosclerosis have been developed. At present the mostly used rabbit models are: the eholesterol-l‘ed rabbit. the Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbit, and St. Thomas’ Hospital rabbit Different study designs can be applied to the eholesterol-fed rabbit. Atherosclerosis in rabbit models can be evaluated by macroscopic, biochemical and microseopie methods.


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How to Cite

Mortensen, A., Fischer Hansen, B., & Fischer Hansen, J. (1994). The rabbit in atherosclerosis research. Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science, 21(2).