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PLoS One. 2013 May 10;8(5):e62731. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062731. Print 2013.

Xuezhikang, extract of red yeast rice, improved abnormal hemorheology, suppressed caveolin-1 and increased eNOS expression in atherosclerotic rats.

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  • 1Department of Geriatrics, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Xuezhikang is the extract of red yeast rice, which has been widely used for the management of atherosclerotic disease, but the molecular basis of its antiatherosclerotic effects has not yet been fully identified. Here we investigated the changes of eNOS in vascular endothelia and RBCs, eNOS regulatory factor Caveolin-1 in endothelia, and hemorheological parameters in atherosclerotic rats to explore the protective effects of Xuezhikang.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups (n = 12/group) group C, controls; group M, high-cholesterol diet (HCD) induced atherosclerotic models; group X, HCD+Xuezhikang; and group L, HCD +Lovastatin. In group X, Xuezhikang inhibited oxidative stress, down-regulated caveolin-1 in aorta wall (P<0.05), up-regulated eNOS expression in vascular endothelia and erythrocytes (P<0.05), increased NOx (nitrite and nitrate) in plasma and cGMP in erythrocyte plasma and aorta wall (P<0.05), increased erythrocyte deformation index (EDI), and decreased whole blood viscosity and plasma viscosity (P<0.05), with the improvement of arterial pathology.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Xuezhikang up-regulated eNOS expression in vascular endothelia and RBCs, increased plasma NOx and improved abnormal hemorheology in high cholesterol diet induced atherosclerotic rats. The elevated eNOS/NO and improved hemorheology may be beneficial to atherosclerotic disease.

PMID:
23675421
PMCID:
PMC3651163
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0062731
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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