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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Quantitation of oil red O staining of the aorta in hypercholesterolemic rats.

A technique is described which provides morphologic and quantitative data on the amount of oil red O (ORO) staining in thoracic aortas of rats fed a high cholesterol diet. Samples are stained with ORO, the dye is extracted, and the concentration of ORO in the extract is measured colorimetrically. Wistar rats fed ad libitum either standard chow (control group: n = 15) or chow supplemented with 4% cholesterol, 1% cholic acid, and 0.5% thiouracil ( CCT group: n = 23) were maintained on these diets for 1, 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. Plasma cholesterol levels averaged overall 87 and 737 mg/dl for the control and CCT groups, respectively. Animals were killed under anesthesia by perfusion fixation with formalin or glutaraldehyde, and samples of thoracic aorta were stained with ORO. After microscopic study en face and measurement of surface area, the ORO was extracted in chloroform-methanol (2:1). Concentrations of ORO (microM) were determined from a standard curve and expressed as microM/mm2 of aorta. Aortas of CCT animals showed progressive diet- and time-dependent increases in the amount of ORO staining compared to controls. We conclude that this method yields reliable quantitative data applicable to studying atherosclerosis in small animals.[1]


  1. Quantitation of oil red O staining of the aorta in hypercholesterolemic rats. Nunnari, J.J., Zand, T., Joris, I., Majno, G. Exp. Mol. Pathol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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