Hibiscus protocatechuic acid or esculetin can inhibit oxidative LDL induced by either copper ion or nitric oxide donor

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Mar 27;50(7):2130-6. doi: 10.1021/jf011296a.


Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) could increase the incidence of atherosclerosis. Previous studies have shown that copper and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) possess the ability to oxidize LDL in a dose-dependent condition. They increase the existing negative charge in LDL and increase the electrophoretic mobility. In this study, we used protocatechuic acid (PCA) and/or esculetin (ECT) to define the antioxidative activity in oxidative LDL by relative electrophoretic mobility (REM) and thiobarbituric acid-relative substances (TBARS). The data showed that ECT and PCA possessed stronger antioxidative activity than vitamin E in oxidative LDL. A previous study showed that the level of oxidative LDL can be determined by the cholesterol degradation and fragmentation of Apo B. Our results showed that Cu(2+)-mediated oxidative LDL can induce 31% cholesterol degradation and significant fragmentation of Apo B. Both PCA and ECT exhibited remarkable ability to rescue the cholesterol degradation and Apo B fragmentation. Taken together, both PCA and ECT showed strong potency to inhibit oxidative LDL induced by copper or an NO donor. Additionally, their nontoxic characteristics elevated the possibility for their use in the daily diet; and should further prevent atherosclerosis effectively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apolipoproteins B / chemistry
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol / chemistry
  • Copper / pharmacology*
  • Diet
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Humans
  • Hydroxybenzoates / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxybenzoates / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Malvaceae / chemistry*
  • Nitric Oxide Donors / pharmacology*
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis
  • Umbelliferones / administration & dosage
  • Umbelliferones / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Nitric Oxide Donors
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Umbelliferones
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Nitroprusside
  • protocatechuic acid
  • Copper
  • Cholesterol
  • esculetin