Lipotoxicity-associated inflammation is prevented by guarana ( Paullinia cupana) in a model of hyperlipidemia

Drug Chem Toxicol. 2021 Sep;44(5):524-532. doi: 10.1080/01480545.2019.1624767. Epub 2019 Jun 14.


Hyperlipidemia causes lipotoxicity which prompts an inflammatory response linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Natural compounds have been receiving special attention for its potential to treat diseases, inexpensiveness, and safety. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) has demonstrated notable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may prevent chronic diseases caused by changes in lipid profile. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the effect of guarana powder (Paullinia cupana) in the purine metabolism and inflammatory profile in lymphocytes and serum of rats with Poloxamer-407-induced hyperlipidemia. Pretreatment with guarana 12.5, 25, and 50 mg/kg/day or caffeine (0.2 mg/kg/day) by gavage was applied to adult male Wistar rats for a period of 30 days. As a comparative standard, we used simvastatin (0.04 mg/kg) post-induction. Hyperlipidemia was acutely induced with intraperitoneally injection of Poloxamer-407 (500 mg/kg). Guarana powder and caffeine increased the activity of the E-NTPDase (ecto-apyrase), and all pretreatments decreased the E-ADA (ecto-adenosine deaminase) activity, reducing the inflammatory process caused by lipotoxicity. In hyperlipidemic rats, ATP levels were increased while adenosine levels were decreased, guarana and caffeine reverted these changes. Guarana powder, caffeine, and simvastatin also prevented the increase in INF-γ and potentiated the increase in IL-4 levels, promoting an anti-inflammatory profile. Guarana promoted a more robust effect than caffeine. Our results show that guarana powder and caffeine have an anti-inflammatory as seen by the shift from a proinflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile. The effects of guarana were more pronounced, suggesting that guarana powder may be used as a complementary therapy to improve the lipotoxicity-associated inflammation.

Keywords: Guarana; caffeine; hyperlipidemia; inflammatory process; simvastatin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Simvastatin / pharmacology
  • Theobromine / administration & dosage
  • Theobromine / pharmacology*
  • Theophylline / administration & dosage
  • Theophylline / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • guarana powder
  • Caffeine
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Simvastatin
  • Theophylline
  • Adenosine
  • Theobromine