2014 Volume 37 Issue 12 Pages 1866-1871
Although hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, and diabetes increase the risk of arteriosclerosis, it is not clear whether hyperuricemia increases the risk of arteriosclerosis or not. We examined the effects of uric acid and curative drugs for hyperuricemia on atherosclerosis-susceptible C57BL/6J apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE−/−) mice. Male apoE−/− mice (age: 6 weeks) were fed a normal diet (normal diet group) or a uric acid-enriched diet. Mice fed the uric acid-enriched diet were divided into three groups and administered a drinking vehicle (high uric acid diet group), allopurinol (20 mg·kg−1·d−1), or benzbromarone (20 mg·kg−1·d−1) for 10 weeks. Serum uric acid concentrations were higher in the high uric acid diet group than in the normal diet group, and concentrations in the allopurinol and benzbromarone groups were lower than in the high uric acid diet group. Serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels were lower in the allopurinol group than in the high uric acid diet group. Oxidative stress was lower in the benzbromarone group than in the high uric acid diet group. Atherosclerotic lesion areas were smaller in the allopurinol and benzbromarone groups than in the high uric acid diet group. Thus, hyperuricemia may not be an independent risk factor for arteriosclerosis; however, the administration of allopurinol and benzbromarone prevented the development of atherosclerosis in apoE−/− mice fed a uric acid-enriched diet. The anti-atherosclerotic effect was in part due to lower total cholesterol and oxidative stress in the serum. Other possible mechanisms underlying this effect should be investigated.