Outline of WHHL/WHHLMI rabbit
(Updated at June 25, 2009)
Institute for Experimental Animals,
Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
7-5-1, Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan
Masashi Shiomi, Ph. D.
The WHHL rabbit strain was developed by Dr. Yoshio Watanabe. Regretfully, he died at December 13, 2008. He was 81 years old. We, as the successors of the WHHL rabbit colony, published a review article about histry of WHHL rabbit's developement
to pay tribute to his scientific achievements by looking back upon the history of studies using WHHL rabbits. This review describes the characteristics of WHHL rabbits and the application to translational researches for human hypercholesterolemia and the related diseases including atherosclerosis in addition to history of WHHL rabbit development
WHHL rabbits have contributed to the studies of cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis in vivo.
For example, WHHL rabbits contributed to the Nobel Prize study by Goldstein JL and Brown MS.
We allocated WHHL rabbits to them in 1980 which they used to verify their hypothesis of LDL receptor pathway.
Their studies on lipoprotein metabolism was recognized and won the Nobel Prize in 1985.
WHHL rabbits have also contributed to studies of atherogenesis, destabilization of atheromatous plaques, and the development of compounds to reduce plasma cholesterol levels and to suppress atherosclerosis.
Spontaneous myocardial infarction-prone WHHL rabbit was developed at 1999 by selective breeding of coronary atherosclerosis-prone WHHL rabbits and was designed as the WHHLMI rabbit.
In this cite, we would like to introduce an outline of the WHHLMI/WHHL rabbit strain regarding its origin, history of development, characteristics, and, in addition, our studies using this strain.