We hypothesized that a Platycodon grandiflorum root (PG) ethyl acetate extract (PGEA) would help reduce the vascular cell injury caused by oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) and prevent high-fat (HF) diet-induced dyslipidemia and oxidative stress by up-regulating antioxidant proteins. We investigated the protective effects of PGEA against vascular endothelial cell injury induced by oxLDL and dyslipidemia induced by an HF diet, and the mechanisms underlying these effects were studied. The protective effects of PGEA were investigated with respect to calf pulmonary arterial endothelial (CPAE) cell viability and the lactate dehydrogenase release during oxLDL treatment. The in vivo effects of PGEA were examined using C57BL/6 mice, which were fed an HF diet for 9 weeks. The HF diet was supplemented with 0, 25, or 75 mg/kg PGEA during the last 4 weeks of the experimental period. Histologic analyses of hepatic lipid accumulation were performed. The changes in antioxidant protein levels induced by PGEA, which protects against HF diet-induced oxidative stress, were measured using a proteomics approach. We found that PGEA exhibited antioxidant activity. In CPAE cells, PGEA inhibited both oxLDL-induced cell death and lactate dehydrogenase release. In the HF diet-induced obese mice that received PGEA, we observed significantly reduced plasma and hepatic lipid levels, demonstrating that PGEA has beneficial effects on hyperlipidemia. In addition, we found that PGEA caused the up-regulation of antioxidant proteins. These findings suggest that the antioxidant effects of PGEA may protect against oxidative stress-related diseases.
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