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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2018 Nov;391(11):1203-1219. doi: 10.1007/s00210-018-1547-8. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Cinnamaldehyde exerts vasculoprotective effects in hypercholestrolemic rabbits.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35516, Egypt.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura, 35516, Egypt.
Urology and Nephrology Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.


The effects of cinnamaldehyde (CIN), a commonly consumed food flavor, against high-cholesterol diet (HCD)-induced vascular damage in rabbits were evaluated. Male New Zealand rabbits (n = 24) were allocated to four groups at random: control, fed with standard rabbit chow; CIN, fed with standard diet and administered CIN; HCD, fed with 1% cholesterol-enriched diet; and HCD-CIN, fed with HCD and treated with CIN. CIN was orally given at a dose of (10 mg/kg/day) concomitantly with each diet type from day 1 until the termination of the experimental protocol (4 weeks). HCD elicited significant elevations in serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), and high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C and LDL-C, respectively) compared with control rabbits. Moreover, aortic levels of nitric oxide metabolites (NOx) and antioxidant enzyme activities were significantly lower, while aortic levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity were significantly higher, in HCD-fed rabbits relative to control animals. CIN administration mitigated or completely reversed HCD-induced metabolic alterations, vascular oxidative stress, and inflammation. Moreover, CIN ameliorated HCD-induced vascular functional and structural irregularities. Aortic rings from HCD-CIN group showed improved relaxation to acetylcholine compared to aortas from HCD group. Moreover, CIN decreased atherosclerotic lipid deposition and intima/media (I/M) ratio of HCD aortas. CIN-mediated effects might be related to its ability to attenuate the elevated aortic mRNA expression of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and MPO in HCD group. Interestingly, the vasculoprotective effects of CIN treatment in the current study do not seem to be mediated via Nrf2-dependent mechanisms. In conclusion, CIN may mitigate the development of atherosclerosis in hypercholestrolemic rabbits via cholesterol-lowering, antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities.


CETP; Cholesterol; Cinnamaldehyde; Endothelial dysfunction; Lipid profile; Nrf2; Oxidative stress; Rabbits

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