Japanese Quail and Atherosclerosis

japanese quailResearchers at the University of British Columbia are working with Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) to prevent atherosclerosis. Due to a buildup of plaque which hardens arteries, atherosclerosis can lead to complications, such as heart attack or stroke. Japanese quail are a suitable model for atherosclerosis because, like humans, they can accumulate plaque within their arteries. Researchers breed these birds to increase their susceptibility to dietary-induced atherosclerosis to understand the role of fatty foods in cardiovascular disease.