Atherosclerosis and disorders associated with cardiovascular system remain the major problem of modern medicine and the leading cause of mortality in developed countries. According to the current knowledge, atherosclerosis development can begin early in life. Clinically silent early‐stage lesions can be detected in a large population of young adults. Despite substantial progress in the recent years, therapy of atherosclerosis mostly remains limited to plasma lipid profile correction. Moreover, no therapy is currently available for the treatment of asymptomatic early stages of the disease. The existing synthetic drugs could not be used for this purpose, because of the unfavourable risk/benefit ratio and high cost of treatment, which has to be long‐lasting. In this regard, medications based on natural agents with anti‐atherosclerotic activity may offer interesting possibilities. Current research should focus on detection and evaluation of such agents. One of the important tools for anti‐atherosclerotic drug evaluation is a cell‐based model, which allows measurement of intracellular lipid accumulation. Anti‐atherosclerotic activity of various substances can therefore be evaluated by the decrease of intracellular lipid storage. In this chapter, we will discuss the development and application of cellular models based on primary culture of human arterial wall cells that are suitable for detection and measurement of anti‐atherosclerotic activity of various substances. Using these models, several natural agents have been successfully evaluated, which led to the development of pharmaceutical products with anti‐atherosclerotic activity based on botanicals.
Part of the book: Cholesterol Lowering Therapies and Drugs