Abstract Title:

Red yeast rice prevents atherosclerosis through regulating inflammatory signaling pathways.

Abstract Source:

Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Sep ;23(9):689-695. Epub 2017 Sep 2. PMID: 28861889

Abstract Author(s):

Min Wu, Wen-Gao Zhang, Long-Tao Liu

Article Affiliation:

Min Wu


OBJECTIVE: To observe the effects of red yeast rice (RYR) on blood lipid levels, aortic atherosclerosis (AS), and plaque stability in apolipoprotein E gene knockout (ApoE-/-) mice.

METHODS: Twenty-four ApoE-/- mice were fed with a high-fat diet starting from 6 weeks of age. Mice were randomized into three groups (n = 8 in each group): model group (ApoE-/- group), RYR group (ApoE-/- + RYR group), and simvastatin group (ApoE-/- + simvastatin group). Eight 6-week-old C57BL/6 mice were assigned as the control group and fed with a basic diet. After 36 weeks, plasma lipids and inflflammatory factors were measured. Aortic atherosclerotic lesions by microscope, scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope were observed. Plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The level of high sensitivity C-reaction protein (Hs-CRP) was detected by the scattering immunoturbidimetric assay. Protein expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) in aorta were tested by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Compared with the model group, treatment with RYR significantly decreased the levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, lipoprotein (a), and apolipoprotein B100 in ApoE-/- mice (P<0.01). Compared with the model group, treatment with RYR decreased the levels of Hs-CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α (P<0.01). RYR also reduced the protein levels of NF-κB and MMP-9 of the aorta.

CONCLUSIONS: RYR has the anti-atherosclerotic and stabilizing unstable plaque effects. The mechanism might be related to the inflflammatory signaling pathways.

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