The deciduous tree Terminalia bellirica found in Southeast Asia is extensively used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of hypertension, rheumatism, and diabetes. The anti-atherogenic effect of Terminalia bellirica fruit has not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the effect of Terminalia bellirica extract (TBE) on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and inflammation in macrophages. TBE showed 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity (EC50: 7.2 ± 1.2 μg/mL) and 15-lipoxygenase inhibitory activity. TBE also significantly inhibited free radical-induced LDL oxidation compared to the solvent control in vitro. In THP-1 macrophages, TBE treatment resulted in significant decreases of the mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), and lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1). TBE also reduced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 secretion and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in THP-1 macrophages. These results show that TBE has the inhibitory effects on LDL oxidation and macrophage inflammatory response in vitro, suggesting that its in vivo use might inhibit atherosclerosis plaque progression.
Keywords: Terminalia bellirica; atherosclerosis; inflammation; lipid oxidation; macrophage; polyphenol.