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Int J Mol Sci. 2012 Oct 8;13(10):12747-60. doi: 10.3390/ijms131012747.

Protective effect of Tulbaghia violacea Harv. on aortic pathology, tissue antioxidant enzymes and liver damage in diet-induced atherosclerotic rats.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa. aafolayan@ufh.ac.za.


The protective effect Tulbaghia violacea rhizomes (TVR) against derangements in serum lipid profile, tissue antioxidant enzyme depletion, endothelium dysfunction and histopathological changes in the aorta and liver of rats fed with an atherosclerogenic (Ath) diet (4% cholesterol, 1% cholic acid and 0.5% thiouracil) was investigated in this study. Co-treatment with the TVR extracts (250 and 500 mg/kg body weight for two weeks significantly (p < 0.05) protected against elevated serum triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), LDL-cholesterol, VLDL-cholesterol and decreased HDL-cholesterol in a dose-dependent manner when compared with the atherogenic control. The extracts also reduced (p < 0.05) elevated thiobabutric reacting substance (TBARS) and reversed endothelial dysfunction parameters (fibrinogen and total NO levels) and tissue antioxidant enzyme activities to near normal. The protective ability of the extract was confirmed by the significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the activities of serum markers of liver (LDH, AST, ALT, ALP, bilirubin) and kidney damage (creatinine and bilirubin) in extract-treated groups compared with the atherogenic control group. Also, histopathology evaluations of aorta sections revealed that the extracts protected against the development of fatty streak plaques (aorta) and fatty changes in hepatocytes. The observed activities of the extracts compared favorably with standard drug atorvastatin. Our study thus showed that the methanolic extract of TVR could protect against the early onset of atherosclerosis.

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