Arctium lappa root extract containing L-arginine prevents TNF-α-induced early atherosclerosis in vitro and in vivo.
Nutr Res. 2020 Mar 21 ;77:85-96. Epub 2020 Mar 21. PMID: 32388084
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the aorta and is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. Arctium lappa root is a plant widely used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and Arctium lappa root extract (ALE) has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory capacity and to ameliorate endothelial dysfunction. Thus, we hypothesized that ALE would inhibit the early atherosclerotic stage. In this study, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of ALE on early arteriosclerosis and its mechanisms of action. ALE suppressed TNF-α-induced monocyte adhesion to the vascular endothelium by suppressing NF-κB signaling in HUVECs. In an acute mouse model of atherosclerosis, ALE suppressed TNF-α-induced monocyte infiltration of the vascular endothelium and the expression of genes encoding inflammatory cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and MCP-1 in the mouse aorta. Moreover, inulin-type fructan and amino acids, especially L-aspartate and L-arginine (60.27 and 42.17 mg/g, respectively) were detected by NMR, MALDI-TOF MS, and HPLC analysis as the main components of ALE. Notably, L-arginine suppressed TNF-α-induced monocyte adhesion to HUVECs. Therefore, these results suggest that ALE may be a functional food for the suppression or prevention of early stages of atherosclerosis.