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Marinou K.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Georgopoulou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Agrogiannis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Karatzas T.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 9 more authors.
Lipids in Health and Disease | Year: 2010

Background. Lipid-enriched diets and oxidative stress are risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis. The effects of the methanolic (ME) and cyclohexane (CHE) extracts of the Pistacia vera nut, often included in the Mediterranean diet, were studied in the rabbit model of atherosclerosis. Methods and results. Twenty-four New Zealand White rabbits received atherogenic diet (Control Group), supplemented with ME (Group ME) or CHE (Group CHE) for 3 months. Previously, a GC-MS and a UHPLC LC-DAD-ESI(-)-HRMS/MS method were developed to investigate the extracts' chemical profiles. Blood samples at baseline and monthly determined lipid profile, lipid peroxidation and liver function. The aorta, myocardium and liver were examined histologically at 3 months. Groups ME and CHE had significantly higher HDL- and non-significantly lower LDL-cholesterol median % changes from baseline than the Control Group. Triacylglycerol was significantly higher in Group CHE vs. Control. MDA values were significantly lower in Group ME vs. Control and CHE. ALT and AST were significantly higher in Group CHE vs. Control. -GT was lower in Group ME vs. Control. Aortic intimal thickness was significantly less in Groups ME and CHE vs. Control; Group ME atherosclerotic lesions were significantly less extensive vs. Groups Control and CHE. Only Group CHE had significant liver fatty infiltration. Conclusions. During short-term administration concomitantly with atherogenic diet, both P. vera extracts were beneficial on HDL-, LDL-cholesterol and aortic intimal thickness. The ME additionally presented an antioxidant effect and significant decrease of aortic surface lesions. These results indicate that P. vera dietary inclusion, in particular its ME, is potentially beneficial in atherosclerosis management. © 2010 Marinou et al. Source

Dontas I.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Marinou K.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Iliopoulos D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Tsantila N.,Benaki Phytopathological Institute | And 3 more authors.
Lipids in Health and Disease | Year: 2011

Background: Rabbits are widely used in biomedical research and especially as animal models in atherosclerosis studies. Blood biochemistry is used to monitor progression of disease, before final evaluation including pathology of arteries and organs. The aim of the present study was to assess the consistency of the biochemical profile of New Zealand White rabbits on standard diet from 3 to 6 months of age, during which they are often used experimentally. Methods and results. Eight conventional male 3-month-old New Zealand White rabbits were used. Blood samples were taken at baseline, 1, 2 and 3 months later. Plasma glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triacylglycerol concentrations, and alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyl transferase activities and malondialdehyde were measured. Statistically significant time-related changes were observed in glucose, total cholesterol and triacylglycerol, which were not correlated with aortic lesions at 6 months of age. Similarly, hepatic enzyme activity had significant time-related changes, without a corresponding liver pathology. Conclusions: Age progression and stress due to single housing may be the underlying reasons for these biochemistry changes. These early changes, indicative of metabolic alterations, should be taken into account even in short-term lipid/atherosclerosis studies, where age and standard diet are not expected to have an effect on the control group of a study. © 2011 Dontas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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