Effect of policosanol on the hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis of normocholesterolemic rats

Biol Res. 1996;29(2):253-7.


We have suggested previously, measuring 14C-acetate incorporation into free cholesterol, that oral administration of policosanol inhibits hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis in rats. Nevertheless, since acetate has limitations to study cholesterol synthesis in vivo, we now investigate rates of incorporation of labeled water into hepatic sterol after policosanol treatment. Absolute rates of incorporation of 3H-water in sterols were depressed by policosanol by about 20%, giving a more accurate degree of cholesterol biosynthesis inhibition in this species. Since policosanol did not inhibit labeled mevalonate incorporation into cholesterol in rat liver, we also studied the effect of policosanol on hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Reductase activity assayed in microsomes treated with policosanol remained unchanged, suggesting that cholesterol synthesis is not inhibited by a direct action of policosanol on this enzyme.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cholesterol / biosynthesis*
  • Fatty Alcohols / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases / drug effects*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microsomes / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • policosanol
  • Cholesterol
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA Reductases