Essential oil of Pinus koraiensis leaves exerts antihyperlipidemic effects via up-regulation of low-density lipoprotein receptor and inhibition of acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase

Phytother Res. 2012 Sep;26(9):1314-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3734. Epub 2012 Jan 25.


Hyperlipidemia is an important factor to induce metabolic syndrome such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, some antihyperlipidemic agents from herbal medicines have been in the spotlight in the medical science field. Thus, the present study evaluated the antihyperlipidemic activities of the essential oil from the leaves of Pinus koraiensis SIEB (EOPK) that has been used as a folk remedy for heart disease. The reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed that EOPK up-regulated low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) at the mRNA level as well as negatively suppressed the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1c, SREBP-2, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGCR), fatty acid synthase (FAS) and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) involved in lipid metabolism in HepG2 cells. Also, western blotting showed that EOPK activated LDLR and attenuated the expression of FAS at the protein level in the cells. Consistently, EOPK significantly inhibited the level of human acylcoenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase (hACAT)1 and 2 and reduced the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation activity. Furthermore, chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis showed that EOPK, an essential oil mixture, contained camphene (21.11%), d-limonene (21.01%), α-pinene (16.74%) and borneol (11.52%). Overall, the findings suggest that EOPK can be a potent pharmaceutical agent for the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fatty Acid Synthase, Type I / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase / metabolism
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases / metabolism
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pinus / chemistry*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Receptors, LDL / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1 / metabolism*
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 2 / metabolism


  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Receptors, LDL
  • SREBF2 protein, human
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 2
  • HMGCR protein, human
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases
  • Glycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase
  • Sterol O-Acyltransferase
  • FASN protein, human
  • Fatty Acid Synthase, Type I