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Lab Anim Res. 2014 Jun;30(2):84-9. doi: 10.5625/lar.2014.30.2.84. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

An ethanolic extract of Angelica gigas improves atherosclerosis by inhibiting vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation.

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 2Misuba RTech Co., Ltd., Asan, Korea.
  • 3Daejeon Health Sciences College, Daejeon, Korea.


The effects of an ethanolic extract of Angelica gigas (EAG) on the vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation and high-cholesterol diet-induced hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis were investigated. Rat aortic VSMCs were stimulated with platelet-derived growth factor-BB (25 ng/mL) for the induction of DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. EAG (1-10 µg/mL) significantly inhibited both the thymidine incorporation and cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by feeding male New Zealand white rabbits with 0.5% cholesterol in diet for 10 weeks, during which EAG (1% in diet) was given for the final 8 weeks after 2-week induction of hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemic rabbits exhibited great increases in serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) levels, and finally severe atheromatous plaque formation covering 28.4% of the arterial walls. EAG significantly increased high-density lipoproteins (HDL), slightly decreased LDL, and potentially reduced the atheroma area to 16.6%. The results indicate that EAG attenuates atherosclerosis not only by inhibiting VASC proliferation, but also by increasing blood HDL levels. Therefore, it is suggested that EAG could be an alternative or an adjunct therapy for the improvement of hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.


Angelica gigas; Hypercholesterolemia; atherosclerosis; vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation

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