Figure 2: cholesterol exposure and gross atherosclerotic lesions. Cholesterol exposure was evaluated by the area under the curve (AUC) at different experimental time points (a). Representative images of aortic atherosclerosis as stained by Sudan IV (b). Gross lesion areas (left) that were calculated in the aortas of chow- and HCD-fed rabbits at 6, 12, 16 and 28 weeks and the correlations (right) between cholesterol exposure and gross lesion area (c). The data are expressed as the means ± SEM. for each group. * and **.