Effects of Erxian decoction, a Chinese medicinal formulation, on serum lipid profile in a rat model of menopause
Chinese Medicine 2011, 6:40 doi:10.1186/1749-8546-6-40Published: 2 November 2011
Background The prevalence and risk of cardiovascular disease increase after menopause in correlation with the progression of abnormality in the serum lipid profile and the deprivation of estrogen. Erxian decoction (EXD), a Chinese medicinal formulation for treating menopausal syndrome, stimulates ovarian estrogen biosynthesis. This study investigates whether EXD improves the serum lipid profile in a menopausal rat model. Methods Twenty-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats were treated with EXD and its constituent fractions. Premarin was administered for comparison. After eight weeks of treatment, rats were sacrificed and the serum levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol were determined. The hepatic protein levels of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase and low-density-lipoprotein receptor were assessed with Western blot. Results The serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly lower in the EXD-treated group than in the constituent fractions of EXD or premarin groups. However, the serum levels of triglyceride and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol were not significantly different from the control groups. Results from Western blot suggest that EXD significantly down-regulated the protein level of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase and up-regulated low-density-lipoprotein receptor. Conclusion EXD improves serum lipid profile in a menopausal rat model through the suppression of the serum levels of total cholesterol and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, possibly through the down-regulation of the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA and up-regulation of the low-density-lipoprotein receptor.
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