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Atherosclerosis. 2010 Sep;212(1):107-15.

Dietary rice protein isolate attenuates atherosclerosis in apoE-deficient mice by upregulating antioxidant enzymes.

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Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.


Rice-based diets may have been reported to protect against the development of atherosclerosis; however, the underlying mechanism(s) for this protection remains unknown. In this report, the mechanism(s) contributing to the atheroprotective effects of rice-based diet was addressed using the apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-/-) mice fed rice protein isolate (RPI) or casein (CAS). Reduced atherosclerotic lesions were observed in aortic sinus and enface analyses of the descending aorta in RPI-fed apoE-/- mice compared with CAS-fed mice. Plasma total- and HDL-cholesterol levels were not different amongst the two groups, suggesting alternative mechanism(s) could have contributed to the atheroprotective effect of rice-based diets. Plasma oxLDL and anti-oxLDL IgG levels were significantly decreased in RPI-fed compared to CAS-fed animals. Plasma and aortic tissue GSH levels and GSH:GSSG ratio were higher in RPI-fed mice compared to CAS-fed group. Interestingly, RPI feeding increased mRNA and protein expression of superoxide dismutase, and mRNA expression of catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, key antioxidant enzymes implicated inhibiting oxidative stress leading to atherosclerosis. In conclusion, these findings suggest that the reduction in atherosclerotic lesions observed in mice fed the rice-based diet is mediated in part by inhibiting oxidative stress and subsequent oxLDL generation that could result in reduced foam cell formation, an early event during atherogenesis.

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