Effects of total glucosides from paeony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall) roots on experimental atherosclerosis in rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 May 17;135(2):469-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.03.045. Epub 2011 Mar 29.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Total glucosides of paeony (TGP), compounds extracted from the roots of Paeonia lactiflora Pall, have been used as an anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in China. Inflammation plays a critical role in the development of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Risk of cardiovascular diseases is significantly higher in patients with RA than in normal population. It has a great significance to study the effects of TGP on atherosclerosis.

Aim of the study: To investigate the effects of TGP on atherosclerosis induced by excessive administration of vitamin D and cholesterol in rats and study the mechanisms involved.

Materials and methods: Atherosclerosis was induced by excessive administration of vitamin D and cholesterol in rats. TGP was intragastrically administered for 15 weeks. The serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured by automatic biochemistry analyzer. Apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) were determined by immunoturbidimetry method, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. The morphological changes of aorta were observed with optical microscopy.

Results: Compared to controls, TGP significantly lowered the serum level of TC, TG, LDL-C, ApoB, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and CRP, increased the ratios of HDL-C/LDL-C and ApoA1/ApoB, decreased the intima-media thickness (IMT) of abdominal aortal wall and improved the morphological change of the aorta.

Conclusions: TGP may attenuate the development of atherosclerotic disease. The beneficial effects are associated with its lowering blood lipids and inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Glucosides / analysis
  • Glucosides / therapeutic use*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Paeonia / chemistry*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Cytokines
  • Glucosides
  • Lipids