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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 1/2016

Protective effects of Arctium lappa L. root extracts (AREs) on high fat diet induced quail atherosclerosis

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2016
Zhi Wang, Ping Li, Chenjing Wang, Qixiao Jiang, Lei Zhang, Yu Cao, Weizhen Zhong, Chunbo Wang
Wichtige Hinweise
Zhi Wang and Ping Li contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

ZW, PL and CW performed the animal treatment work, participated in the histology and serum lipid profile work and drafted part of the manuscript. QJ carried out the histology work and drafted part of the manuscript. LZ performed the extraction of AREs. YC and WZ participated in the animal treatment work, serum lipid profile work, and helped with manuscript drafting. CW designed the study and performed statistical analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



This study was designed to evaluate the protective effects of Arctium lappa L. root extracts (AREs) from different extraction methods (aqueous, ethanol, chloroform and flavone) on atherosclerosis.


Quails (Coturnix coturnix) were subjected to high fat diet, with or without one of the four different AREs or positive control simvastatin. Blood samples were collected before treatment, after 4.5 weeks or ten weeks to assess lipid profile (Levels of total cholesterol (TC), Triacylglycerol (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)). After ten weeks, the serum levels of nitric oxide (NO) as well as antioxidant and pro-oxidative status (Levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)) were measured. Furthermore, aortas were collected after ten weeks treatment, aorta lipid contents (TC, TG and LDL) were assessed, and histology was used to confirm atherosclerotic changes.


The results indicated that high fat diet significantly deteriorated lipid profile and antioxidant status in quail serum, while all the extracts significantly reverted the changes similar to simvastatin. Aorta lipid profile assessment revealed similar results. Histology on aortas from quails treated for ten weeks confirmed atherosclerotic changes in high fat diet group, while the extracts significantly alleviated the atherosclerotic changes similar to simvastatin. Among the different extracts, flavones fraction exerted best protective effects.


Our data suggest that the protective effects of AREs were medicated via hypolipidemic and anti-oxidant effects. Underlying molecular mechanisms are under investigation.
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