Pycnogenol could be a potential prophylaxis or treatment for atherosclerosis in humans. - GreenMedInfo Summary
PycnogenolR Reduces Toll-like Receptor 4 Signaling Pathway-mediated Atherosclerosis Formation in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice.
J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2016 Jun 16. Epub 2016 Jun 16. PMID: 27322603
Pycnogenol (PYC) is an extract from French maritime pine bark. Its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be beneficial for atherosclerosis. Here, we tested whether PYC could suppress high cholesterol and fat diet (HCD)-induced atherosclerosis formation in apolipoprotein E (apoE)-deficient mice. In our study, PYC suppressed oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced lipid accumulation in peritoneal macrophages. ApoE-deficient mice were orally administered PYC or a control solvent for ten weeks, and these mice were fed a standard diet or HCD during the latter 8 weeks. PYC markedly decreased the size of atherosclerotic lesions induced by HCD compared with the non-treated controls. In addition, TLR4 expression in aortic sinus was stimulated by HCD feeding, and was significantly reduced by PYC. A mechanistic analysis indicated that LPS significantly increased expression of fatty acid binding protein (aP2) and macrophage scavenger receptor class A (SR-A), which were blocked by a JNK inhibitor. Furthermore, PYC inhibited the LPS-induced upregulation of aP2 and SR-A via the JNK pathway. In conclusion, PYC administration effectively attenuates atherosclerosis through the TLR4-JNK pathway. Our results suggest that PYC could be a potential prophylaxis or treatment for atherosclerosis in humans.