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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Arctium lappa ameliorates endothelial dysfunction in rats fed with high fat/cholesterol diets

Yun Jung Lee12, Deok Ho Choi1, Guk Hyun Cho1, Jin Sook Kim3, Dae Gill Kang12* and Ho Sub Lee12*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Oriental Medicine and Professional Graduate School of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Shinyong-dong, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570-749, Republic of Korea

2 Hanbang Body-fluid Research Center, Wonkwang University, Shinyong-dong, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570-749, Republic of Korea

3 Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Jeonmin-dong, Yusung-gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:116  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-116

Published: 6 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Arctium lappa L. (Asteraceae), burdock, is a medicinal plant that is popularly used for treating hypertension, gout, hepatitis, and other inflammatory disorders. This study was performed to test the effect of ethanol extract of Arctium lappa L. (EAL) seeds on vascular reactivity and inflammatory factors in rats fed a high fat/cholesterol diet (HFCD).

Method

EAL-I (100 mg·kg−1/day), EAL-II (200 mg·kg−1/day), and fluvastatin (3 mg·kg−1/day) groups initially received HFCD alone for 8 weeks, with EAL supplementation provided during the final 6 weeks.

Results

Treatment with low or high doses of EAL markedly attenuated plasma levels of triglycerides and augmented plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in HFCD-fed rats. Chronic treatment with EAL markedly reduced impairments of acetylcholine (ACh)-induced relaxation of aortic rings. Furthermore, chronic treatment with EAL significantly lowered systolic blood pressure (SBP) and maintained smooth and flexible intimal endothelial layers in HFCD-fed rats. Chronic treatment with EAL suppressed upregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, and E-selectin in the aorta. Chronic treatment with EAL also suppressed increases in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 expression. These results suggested that EAL can inhibit HFCD-induced vascular inflammation in the rat model.

Conclusion

The present study provides evidence that EAL ameliorates HFCD-induced vascular dysfunction through protection of vascular relaxation and suppression of vascular inflammation.

Keywords:
Arctium lappa; Hyperlipidemia; Hypertension; Vasorelaxation; Inflammation