© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Silymarin is a hepatoprotective mixture of flavonolignans and flavonoids extracted from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertn). This study investigates the effect of major bioactive constituents from silymarin, silybin A, silybin B, isosilybin A, isosilybin B, silydianin, silychristin, isosilychristin, and taxifolin, on the expression of ABCA1, an important cholesterol efflux transporter, in THP-1-derived macrophages. Four of the studied compounds, isosilybin A, silybin B, silychristin and isosilychristin, were found to significantly induce ABCA1 protein expression without affecting cell viability. Moreover, isosilybin A, a partial PPAR agonist, was found to promote cholesterol efflux from THP-1 macrophages in a concentration-dependent manner. These findings first show ABCA1 protein up-regulating activity of active constituents of silymarin and provide new avenues for their further study in the context of cardiovascular disease.
Wang, L., Rotter, S., Ladurner, A., Heiss, E. H., Oberlies, N. H., Dirsch, V. M., & Atanasov, A. G. (2016). Silymarin constituents enhance ABCA1 expression in THP-1 macrophages. Molecules, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21010055