As the intrinsic susceptibility to atherosclerosis differs among several taxonomic groups, the present studies were conducted to compare the angiotoxic responses of atherosclerosis-susceptible (quail) and -resistant (rat) animals to allylamine, a selective cardiovascular toxin. Japanese quail (125-150 g) and Sprague-Dawley rats (175-200 g) were gavaged daily for 1, 7, or 20 d with allylamine HCI (0.7, 7, and 70 mglkg) or tap water. At the ultrastructural level, subchronic exposure of quail and rats to allylamine was associated with dose- and time-dependent disruption of the structural integrity of aortas. These alterations correlated with fluctuations in the nonprotein thiol content of avian and rodent vessels. Angiotoxicity was not associated with alterations in serum cholesterol content. At all times and doses tested, quail were more susceptible than rats to the angiotoxic effects of allylamine. Although the avian sensitivity to toxic insult was greater than that of rodents, quail aortic homogenates bioactivated allylamine to a lesser extent than rat homogenates. Collectively, these results suggest that the aortic sensitivity to toxic insult in avian and rodent species correlates with their intrinsic susceptibility to vascular injury.
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