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Background: Bitter melon (BM, Momordica charantia) has been accepted as an effective complementary treatment of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and etc. However it is unclear whether BM can prevent the progression of atherosclerosis. To confirm the effects of BM on atherosclerosis and explore its underlying mechanisms, we design this study. Methods: Twenty four male apolipoprotein E knock-out (ApoE-/-) mice aged 8 weeks were randomly divided into control group fed with high fat diet (HFD) only and BM group fed with HFD mixed with 1.2%w/w BM. After 16 weeks, body weight, food intake, blood glucose, serum lipids were measured and the atherosclerotic plaque area and its histological composition were analyzed. The expression of vascular cell adhesive molecules and inflammatory cytokines in the aortas were determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Body weight gain and serum triglycerides (TG) significantly decreased in BM group. BM reduced not only the atherosclerotic plaque area and the contents of collagen fibers in atherosclerotic plaques but also the serum soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 and P-selectin levels, as well as the expressions of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 and interleukin (IL)-6 in aortas. Conclusion: Our study indicates that dietary BM can attenuate the development of atherosclerosis in ApoeE-/- mice possibly through reducing triglyceride and anti-inflammation mechanism.
Zeng, Y., Guan, M., Li, C., Xu, L., Zheng, Z., Li, J., & Xue, Y. (2018). Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) attenuates atherosclerosis in apo-E knock-out mice possibly through reducing triglyceride and anti-inflammation. Lipids in Health and Disease, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0896-0