We evaluated the antiatherogenic effect of lycopene in rabbits fed a high-fat diet.
Forty adult male rabbits were divided into five groups that were fed a standard diet, a high-fat diet, a high-fat diet plus 4 mg/kg of lycopene, a high-fat diet plus 12 mg/kg of lycopene, and a high-fat diet plus 10 mg/kg of fluvastatin, respectively. Lycopene and fluvastatin were administered intragastrically. The level of serum total cholesterol, total triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total antioxidant capacity, and malondialdehyde were measured before and after 4 and 8 wk of experimental treatment. In addition, plasma levels of lycopene, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, serum nitric oxide, and interleukin-1 were measured after the experiment. The area of atherosclerotic plaque and pathologic changes of the aorta were evaluated.
Compared with the control, levels of total cholesterol, total triacylglycerol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, malonaldehyde, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and interleukin-1 were increased and total antioxidant capacity and nitric oxide were decreased in the animals with a high-fat diet (P < 0.05). Intragastric administration of lycopene counteracted the change in these parameters (P < 0.05). In this case, the data showed that lycopene in the used dose was better than the fluvastatin intervention. Morphologic analysis revealed that lycopene and fluvastatin markedly reduced the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta compared with the situation in rabbits on a high-fat diet alone.
Lycopene, like fluvastatin, significantly attenuated atherogenesis in rabbits fed a high-fat diet.
2008. Vol. 24, no 10, 1030-1038 p.