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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):918-27.

Antiatherogenic activity of extracts of Argania spinosa L. pericarp: beneficial effects on lipid peroxidation and cholesterol homeostasis.

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Research Centre on Aging, University of Sherbrooke, 1036 Belvedere Street South, Sherbrooke, QC J1H4C4, Canada.


Prevention of lipoprotein oxidation by natural compounds may prevent atherosclerosis via reducing early atherogenesis. In this study, we investigated for the first time the beneficial properties of methanolic extract of argania pericarp (MEAP) towards atherogenesis by protecting human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) against oxidation while promoting high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-mediated cholesterol efflux. By measuring the formation of malondialdehyde (MDA) and conjugated diene as well as the lag phase and the progression rate of lipid peroxidation, the MEAP was found to possess an inhibitory effect. In addition, MEAP reduced the rate of disappearance of alpha-tocopherol as well as the apoB electrophoretic mobility in a dose-dependent manner. These effects are related to the free radical scavenging and copper-chelating effects of MEAP. In terms of cell viability, MEAP has shown a cytotoxic effect (0-40 microg/mL). Incubation of 3H-cholesterol-loaded J774 macrophages with HDL in the presence of increasing concentrations of MEAP enhanced HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux independently of ABCA1 receptor pathways. Our findings suggest that argania seed pericarp provides a source of natural antioxidants that inhibit LDL oxidation and enhance cholesterol efflux and thus can prevent development of cardiovascular diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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