[[abstract]]The apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-/-) mice are hyperlipidemic and a good model to study atherosclerosis. In order to know the effects of wild bitter gourd on lipid metabolism, we conducted two experiments in apoE-/- mice. In experiment 1, 18-wk-old apoE-/- mice were assigned to 6 groups and fed different diets as follows: the high fat (20%, w/w) diet (HF, n = 10), HF with 5%wild bitter ground powder (BGP, n = 10), HF with 1% ethyl acetate extract of bitter gourd (EAE, n = 10), HF with 0.5% clofibrate (CF, n = 5), HF with 0.00123% rosiglitazone (TZD, n = 5) and chow diet (C, n = 5). Serum total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) concentrations were measured at the end of wk 4, 9 and 17. After 18 wk of feeding, the mice were sacrified. Liver and blood samples were obtained to determine hepatic TC, TG and serum HDL-C concentrations. Data were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance and the Tukey post hoc. The BGP group had a lower level of serum total cholesterol in week 9 and 17 (25 & 39% reduction, respectively, p<0.05), a lower level of serum triglyceride in week 17 (38% reduction, p<0.05) and a higher level of HDL-C in wk 18 (55% increase, p<0.05) than the HF group. The EAE group had a 39% higher level of HDL-C than the HF group in week 18, but it was not statistically significant. Levels of hepatic TC and TG were not significantly different among all groups. In experiment 2, young (6-10 wk-old) apoE-/- mice were assigned to 3 groups and fed the HF diet (n = 11), the BGP diet (n = 9) and the EAE diet (n = 10), respectively, for 8 wk. After feeding trials, the BGP group had a lower level of serum total cholesterol (28% reduction, p<0.05), and a larger decrease in level of serum triglyceride in wk 8 (p<0.05) than the HF group. The BGP group also had a 25% higher level of HDL-C than HF group, but it was not statistically significant. There were no significant difference in serum adiponectin, serum leptin, liver PPAR-αmRNA expression and liver MTP mRNA expression among HF、BGP and EAE groups. In conclusion, this study shows that wild bitter gourd powder can be a potent blood lipid-lowering health food.
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