Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Blackcurrant (L.) Extract Exerts Potential Vasculoprotective Effects in Ovariectomized Rats, Including Prevention of Elastin Degradation and Pathological Vascular Remodeling.

Abstract Source:

Nutrients. 2021 Feb 8 ;13(2). Epub 2021 Feb 8. PMID: 33567796

Abstract Author(s):

Kayo Horie, Naoki Nanashima, Hayato Maeda, Toshiko Tomisawa, Indrawati Oey

Article Affiliation:

Kayo Horie


Estrogen exerts cardioprotective effects in menopausal women. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived substances exhibiting estrogenic activity that could beneficially affect vascular health. We previously demonstrated that blackcurrant (L.) extract (BCE) treatment exerted beneficial effects on vascular health via phytoestrogenic activity in ovariectomized (OVX) rats, which are widely used as menopausal animal models. Here, we examined whether BCE treatment reduced elastin degradation and prevented pathological vascular remodeling in OVX rats fed a regular diet (OVX Control) or a 3% BCE-supplemented diet (OVX BCE), compared with sham surgery rats fed a regular diet (Sham) for 3 months. The results indicated a lower staining intensity of elastic fibers, greater elastin fragmentation, and higherα-smooth muscle actin protein expression in OVX Control rats than in OVX BCE and Sham rats. Pathological vascular remodeling was only observed in OVX Control rats. Additionally, we investigated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-12 mRNA expression levels to elucidate the mechanism underlying elastin degradation, revealing significantly upregulated MMP-12 mRNA expression in OVX Control rats compared with that in Sham and OVX BCE rats. Together, we identify BCE as exerting a vascular protective effect through reduced MMP-12 expression and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. To our knowledge,this is the first report indicating that BCE might protect against elastin degradation and pathological vascular remodeling during menopause.

Study Type : Animal Study

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