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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 761415, 7 pages
Review Article

Porcine Models of Accelerated Coronary Atherosclerosis: Role of Diabetes Mellitus and Hypercholesterolemia

Cardiovascular Division, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Cardiovascular Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Received 13 January 2013; Accepted 16 May 2013

Academic Editor: Bernard Portha

Copyright © 2013 Damir Hamamdzic and Robert L. Wilensky. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Animal models of atherosclerosis have proven to be an invaluable asset in understanding the pathogenesis of the disease. However, large animal models may be needed in order to assess novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of atherosclerosis. Porcine models of coronary and peripheral atherosclerosis offer several advantages over rodent models, including similar anatomical size to humans, as well as genetic expression and development of high-risk atherosclerotic lesions which are similar to humans. Here we review the four models of porcine atherosclerosis, including the diabetic/hypercholesterolemic model, Rapacz-familial hypercholesterolemia pig, the (PCSK9) gain-of-function mutant pig model, and the Ossabaw miniature pig model of metabolic syndrome. All four models reliably represent features of human vascular disease.