Apigenin in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism and protection of blood vessels
- Kun Zhang
- Wei Song
- Dalin Li
- Xing Jin
Affiliations: Department of Vascular Surgery, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, Shandong 266011, P.R. China, Department of Endocrinology, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, Shandong 266011, P.R. China, Department of Vascular Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250021, P.R. China
- Published online on: February 24, 2017 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2017.4165
Copyright: © Zhang
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Hyperlipidemia is a major independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Seeking natural compounds in medicinal plants capable of reducing blood fat and studying their mechanisms of action has been the focus of research in recent years. The aim of the present study was to analyze the mechanisms of apigenin in regulating cholesterol metabolism and protecting blood vessels, and to provide a theoretical basis for the clinical application of apigenin. The mouse model of hyperlipidemia was established to verify the efficacy of apigenin in improving hyperlipidemia and to observe the mechanism of action of apigenin in reducing cholesterol content. In vitro cell experiments were conducted to evaluate the role of apigenin in mediating reverse cholesterol transport. Additionally, H2O2‑injured human umbilical venous endothelial cells (EA.hy926 cells) were used for further study on the roles of apigenin in resisting oxidization and protecting vascular endothelial cells. Apigenin significantly regulated blood fat, reduced animal weight, and reduced total cholesterol (P=0.024), triglyceride (P=0.031) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P=0.014) in the serum of the high-fat diet mice. Apigenin improved the blood lipid metabolism of the hyper-lipidemia model mice. Body weight and serum cholesterol content increased abnormally (P=0.003) as a consequence of high-fat diet. Apigenin increased the activity of superoxide dismutase in EA.hy926 cells (P=0.043) and increased the amount of nitric oxide secreted by the cells (P=0.038). Apigenin also inhibited the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells in a dose-dependent manner (P=0.036). In conclusion, apigenin can regulate cholesterol metabolism in vivo and plays a role in reducing the level of blood fat by promoting cholesterol absorption and conversion, and accelerating reverse cholesterol transport. Apigenin also has a role in resisting oxidization and protecting blood vessels.