β-caryophyllene reduces atherogenic index and coronary risk index in hypercholesterolemic rats: The involvement of cardiac oxidative damage.
Chem Biol Interact. 2017 May 25 ;270:9-14. Epub 2017 Apr 12. PMID: 28411027
Matheus D Baldissera
Hypercholesterolemia and cardiac oxidative damage have been implicated in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis. In earlier studies, treatment using natural phytocannabinoidβ-caryophyllene caused a hypolipemic effect, as well as ameliorated hepatic oxidative damage. In this regard, the present study aimed to investigate whether β-caryophyllene treatment was able to protect the cardiac tissue against hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis, and to investigate the involvement of antioxidant mechanisms in this effect using a model of hypercholesterolemia induced by Triton WR-1339. The hypercholesterolemic animals exhibited a significant increase in the cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG) and free fatty acids (FFA) contents in cardiac tissue, as well as showed significant increase on atherogenic index (AI) and coronary risk index (CRI). Moreover, cardiac levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were increased in hypercholesterolemic animals, while the glutathione reduced (GSH) levels and glutathione peroxidase(GPx) activity were decreased. β-caryophyllene treatment reduced the cardiac lipid content, as well as decreased the AI and CRI. Moreover, the treatment was able to improve the antioxidant/oxidant status in heart tissue of hypercholesterolemic animals. In summary, β-caryophyllene possesses antioxidant properties, preventing lipidic oxidative damage and ameliorating the GPx activity, an important enzyme linked to the prevention of atherosclerosis. Thus, this compound can be used as an attempt to prevent or reduce atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic rats.