Lipids in health and disease 2017 09 2616(1) 184 doi 10.1186/s12944-017-0573-8
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that is promoted, among others, by pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18 produced by NLRP 3 inflammasome. Development of atherosclerotic lesions is also affected by leptin. Furthermore, inflammasome’s action is interfered with other inflammatory diseases, like diabetes. On the other hand, colchicine is reported to act as anti-inflammatory agent inhibiting inflammasome’s action and stabilizing atherosclerotic lesions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of per os colchicine on the de novo formation of atherosclerotic lesions and on the levels of IL-18, leptin and insulin in cholesterol-fed rabbits.
Twenty-three male, 2 months old New Zealand White rabbits, were seperated in 3 groups and were fed with different types of diet for 7 weeks: standard, cholesterol 1% w/w and cholesterol 1% w/w plus colchicine 2 mg/kg body weight. Blood was collected for biochemical measurements and conduction of ELISA for leptin, IL-18 and insulin. Histologic examination of stained with eosin and hematoxylin aorta specimens was performed. Aortic intimal thickness was evaluated using image analysis. The statistical analysis included non-parametric tests: a) paired-sample Wilcoxon test, b) Spearman correlation coefficient and c) Kruscal-Wallis test.
Triglerycide levels were decreased in cholesterol plus colchicine group in the end of the experiment (p < 0.05), whereas the cholesterol group had increased levels. No statistical differences were observed in the levels of IL-18, leptin and insulin between groups. Likewise, there was neither any correlation between IL-18, leptin and intima thickness nor between IL-18 and glucose and between leptin and weight. In cholesterol and colchicine group there was a strong positive correlation between IL-18 and insulin levels in the 4th week (r s = .66, n = 10, p < 0.05), whereas in the 7th week this correlation became strong negative (r s = -.86, n = 10, p < 0.05). Finally, intima thickness in the ascending and thoracic aorta of the cholesterol and colchicine group was significantly greater than that of the other groups (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS
Per os administration of colchicine did not influence atherosclerosis progression in cholesterol-fed rabbits, levels of IL-18, insulin and leptin. We encountered the attenuating role of colchicine on TG levels.