Experimental research
Ginkgo suppresses atherosclerosis through downregulating the expression of connexin 43 in rabbits
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Submission date: 2012-07-14
Final revision date: 2012-11-09
Acceptance date: 2012-11-09
Online publication date: 2013-04-09
Publication date: 2013-04-30
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(2):340–346
Introduction: Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) EGb761 is widely used for cardiovascular prevention. Here, we investigated the effects of GBE on atherosclerotic lesion development in rabbits with a high-fat diet.
Material and methods: Forty New Zealand white male rabbits were randomly divided into four groups. The first two were the normal diet group (C) and the high-fat group (HF). The remaining two groups were those who received a high cholesterol diet supplemented with either the standard drug (simvastatin
2 mg/kg/day) or GBE (3 mg/kg/day). At 12 weeks, histopathological and chemical analyses were performed.
Results: Plasma lipid measurement showed that GBE inhibited high-fat diet-induced increase of serum triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 59.1% (0.9 ±0.2 4 mmol/l vs. 2.2 ±0.4 mmol/l), 18.2% (31.1 ±1.4 mmol/l vs. 38.0 ±0.4 mmol/l) and 15% (28.9 ±1.3 mmol/l vs. 34.0±1.0 mmol/l), respectively, at 12 weeks (p < 0.01). The en face Sudan IV-positive lesion area of the aorta in the GBE group (51.7 ±3.1%) was significantly lower compared with that in the HF group (88.2 ±2.2%; p < 0.01). The mean atherosclerotic lesion area of the GBE group was reduced by 53.2% compared with the HF group (p < 0.01). Immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis showed that GBE markedly suppressed high-fat diet-induced upregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43) in rabbits (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Thus, our study revealed that GBE prevented atherosclerosis progress through modulating plasma lipid, suppressing atherosclerotic lesion development, and attenuating the expression of Cx43 protein.