Effects of eggplant (Solanum melongena) on the atherogenesis and oxidative stress in LDL receptor knock out mice (LDLR(-/-))

Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Aug;42(8):1259-67. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2004.03.007.


Eggplant (Solanum melongena) has been used as hypocholesterolemic agent in many countries. However, few controlled studies were addressed to this subject and atherogenesis. We have evaluated the effect of eggplant on cholesterol metabolism and atherogenesis in LDLR(-/-) mice. Animals were fed on chow (n=17) or atherogenic (n=21) diet during 12 weeks receiving water (control) or eggplant extract. Liver, serum and fecal lipids, together with serum lipoproteins were measured. Oxidative stress was evaluated through conjugate diene formation and ox-LDL antibodies by enzyme immunoassay. Atherosclerotic lesions were measured in different sites of aorta. Total cholesterol and atherogenic lipoproteins did not decrease after eggplant intake. Animals receiving eggplant and chow diet showed increased anti-ox-LDL antibodies and a decreased lag phase of conjugated diene formation, indicating a higher oxidative stress than controls. No differences were seen in lesion area of aortic valve. Eggplant extract had high histamine and other amine levels that could enhance LDL oxidation and its endocytosis. Eggplant did not decrease plasma cholesterol nor prevent the development of atherosclerosis in LDLR(-/-) mice. Surprisingly, eggplant increased oxidative stress, representing a risk factor for atherosclerosis. These results did not support the use of eggplant extract as hypocholesterolemic agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / genetics*
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Diet
  • Diet, Atherogenic
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Lipoproteins / immunology
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Receptors, LDL / genetics*
  • Solanum melongena / chemistry*


  • Antibodies
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, LDL
  • Cholesterol