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Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(1):39-52.

Hypotensive, hypolipidemic, and vascular protective effects of Morus alba L. in rats fed an atherogenic diet.

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Professional Graduate School of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Jeonbuk, 570-749, Republic of Korea.


Morus alba L. has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and almost all parts of this plant are useful in cardiovascular, liver and spleen disorders. The present study was designed to investigate the inhibitory effect of a water extract from Morus alba L. (WMA) on vascular dysfunction in rat models fed a high fat and high cholesterol diet. Male rats were fed an atherogenic diet consisting of food with 7.5% cocoa butter and 1.25% cholesterol, with or without 100 or 200 mg/day/kg WMA, for 14 weeks. Chronic treatment with low (100 mg/kg/day) or high (200 mg/day/kg) doses of WMA markedly attenuated hypertension and the impairments of acetylcholine-induced relaxation of aortic rings in rats fed an atherogenic diet. WMA reduced intima/media thickness in rats fed an atherogenic diet. WMA improved plasma levels of triglyceride (TG) and augmented plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL), but did not affect blood glucose levels. Interestingly, WMA suppressed increased cell adhesion molecules such as E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression in the aorta. Taken together, these results suggested that Morus alba L. could improve an atherogenic diet-induced hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and vascular dysfunction through inhibition of cell adhesion molecules expression and induction of vascular relaxation.

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