Mulberry anthocyanin extracts inhibit LDL oxidation and macrophage-derived foam cell formation induced by oxidative LDL

J Food Sci. 2008 Aug;73(6):H113-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00801.x.


Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation plays a role in atherosclerosis; therefore the lower the formation of oxidative LDL (oxLDL), the lower the occurrence of coronary heart diseases (CHD). Mulberry, the fruit of Morus alba L., is used effectively in Chinese medicines for prevention of CHD. However, the mechanism of this action is unclear. Two extracts, MWEs (mulberry water extracts) and MACs (mulberry anthocyanin-rich extracts), which exhibit antioxidative and anti-atherosclerogensis abilities in vitro. Data showed that MWEs and MACs were able to inhibit (P<0.05) the relative electrophoretic mobility (REM), ApoB fragmentation, and thiobarbituric acid reaction substances (TBARS) formation in Cu2+ -mediated oxidation LDL. MWEs and MACs also had the ability of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging for reducing the formation of free radicals mediated by copper ions. Furthermore, we observed that MWEs and MACs could decrease (P<0.05) macrophage death induced by oxLDL. In addition, the MWEs and MACs also could inhibit (P<0.05) the formation of foam cells. Both MWEs and MACs showed a great ability of scavenging radicals, inhibition of LDL oxidation, and decrease in atherogenic stimuli in macrophages, while the efficacy of MACs is 10-fold greater than that of MWEs. It also demonstrated that anthocyanin components in mulberry extracts were regarded as the prevention of atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / metabolism
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Copper / metabolism
  • Foam Cells
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Morus / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Anthocyanins
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • low density lipoprotein inhibitor
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Copper
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl