Original ArticleEffects of Clopidogrel on Vascular Proliferation and Apoptosis in an Atherosclerotic Rabbit ModelRen, Hongsheng PhD, MD*; Li, Ming PhD, MD†; Feng, Lili PhD, MD‡; Jiang, Jinjiao PhD, MD*; Zhang, Yijing PhD, MD§; Zhang, Yuanchao PhD†; Zhu, Xinglei PhD‖Author Information From the *Intensive Care Unit; †Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology; ‡Department of Hematology; §Department of Gastroenterology; and ‖Department of Cardiology, Shandong Provincial Hospital affiliated with Shandong University, Jinan PR China. Received for publication May 17, 2009; accepted March 7, 2010. H.R. and M.L. are cofirst authors. This study was funded by the Medical and Health Science and Technology Development Plan Program of Shandong Province of China under Grant No. 2007HW095. There are not any financial interests or affiliations with institutions, organizations, or companies that are mentioned in the manuscript or whose products or services are discussed. Reprints: Xinglei Zhu, PhD, Department of Cardiology, Shandong Provincial Hospital affiliated with Shandong University, Jinan 250021, PR China (e-mail: email@example.com). Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: June 2010 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 617-624 doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e3181dc98dc Buy Metrics Abstract Inflammation, vascular proliferation. and apoptosis contribute to the process of atherosclerosis. Clopidogrel has been used to treat atherosclerosis; however, the mechanism is not entirely known. Compared with those of atorvastatin, we determined effects of clopidogrel on inflammatory factors, vascular proliferation, and apoptosis in an atherosclerosis rabbit model. New Zealand white rabbits were fed a normal diet or a high cholesterol diet for 7 weeks. The right iliac artery of animals except those in the negative control group were balloon-injured 1 week after initiation of the diet, and groups of animals were treated with clopidogrel (4 mg/kg per day), atorvastatin (2.5 mg/kg per day), or placebo (positive control group) for 6 weeks. We found that the placebo group had significant progression of atherosclerosis compared with the negative control group. In contrast, clopidogrel- or atorvastatin-treated rabbits showed a significant reduction in progression of atherosclerosis, including a low expression of high sensitivity C-reactive protein and platelet-derived growth factor, a reduced intima thickness, and reduced ratio of bcl-2/bax in the vascular wall. These results suggest that clopidogrel can retard the progression of established lesions that is related to inhibiting inflammation, cell proliferation, and promotion of cell apoptosis. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.