Collagen Characteristics and Organization during the Progression of Cholesterol-induced Atherosclerosis in Japanese Quail

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Experimental Biology and Medicine


atherosclerosis, cholesterol, collagen, extracellular matrix, hydroxypyridinoline


This study reports the concentration of collagen and its hydroxypyridinoline crosslinks, collagen fibril organization in the dorsal aortas, and systolic blood pressure during the progression of atherosclerosis in Japanese quail selected for cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis. The quail were placed on either a control or 0.5% cholesterol-added diet at approximately 16 weeks of age. The concentration of total collagen did not change in the control arteries during the course of the study, whereas at 5 and 10 weeks of cholesterol feeding, collagen levels decreased in the cholesterol-fed birds. Hydroxypyridinoline concentration increased during the duration of the study in the cholesterol-fed birds and by 15 and 20 weeks of cholesterol feeding, levels were significantly increased over those observed in the control arteries. Transmission electron microscopy showed changes in the organization of collagen fibrils. Increased systolic blood pressure was noted beginning at 10 weeks of cholesterol feeding, which is suggestive of other systemic changes induced by hypercholesterolemia. These results demonstrated remodeling of the collagen component of the dorsal aorta extracellular matrix during the progression of atherosclerosis and are suggestive of other systemic cardiovascular system changes