Inhibition of coronary atherosclerosis by propranolol in behaviorally predisposed monkeys fed an atherogenic diet.
We studied the effect of propranolol on the diet-induced coronary artery atherosclerosis (CAA) in 30 adult male cynomolgus monkeys living in social groupings of five animals each. Animals in the "treated" segment (n = 15) consumed propranolol, which was mixed into an atherogenic diet. Animals in the "untreated" group (n = 15) consumed only the atherogenic diet. Finally, the social groupings were subjected to disruption through monthly redistribution of monkeys among the groups within each treatment segment. The experiment lasted 26 months, following which all animals underwent autopsy during which the coronary arteries were evaluated for atherosclerosis. Regarding atherosclerosis, we observed a significant interaction between social status and experimental condition (p less than .03). Socially dominant animals had (as in previous studies) significantly exacerbated CAA, but only in the untreated segment; the effect of social dominance on CAA was abolished by long-term administration of propranolol. The antiatherogenic effect of propranolol on dominant animals was independent of the influences of serum lipid concentrations, blood pressure, and resting heart rate. We conclude that treatment with beta-adrenergic-blocking agents may confer a degree of protection against CAA among individuals behaviorally predisposed to coronary heart disease.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association