Hypolipidaemic effects and mechanisms of the main component of Opuntia dillenii Haw. polysaccharides in high-fat emulsion-induced hyperlipidaemic rats
Abstract The antihyperlipidaemic effects of ODP-Ia, one of the main components of Opuntia dillenii Haw. polysaccharides, were studied. Gavage administration of ODP-Ia was observed to significantly decrease serum lipid levels and to increase serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level in hyperlipidaemic rats. Similar suppressive patterns were also seen in hepatic total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Moreover, the ODP-Ia administration significantly increased serum lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase activity, increased the production of serum NO, inhibited hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity, augmented serum and hepatic superoxide dismutase activities and decreased the serum and hepatic malondialdehyde contents in hyperlipidaemic rats. In addition, a histopathological examination revealed that ODP-Ia administration significantly suppressed inflammatory cell infiltration and the expression of VCAM-1. Together, these results indicate that ODP-Ia is a potential natural product for the treatment of hyperlipidaemia-related diseases by improving antioxidant levels, modulating the activities of enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism, promoting the production of NO and suppressing the expression of VCAM-1, thereby suppressing lipid accumulation and inflammatory cell infiltration.