Polygonatum rhizoma affects antioxidant defense systems without changing mRNA expression in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rabbits.J Med Food 2004; 7(3):358-65JM
This study was conducted to determine the antioxidant effects of a Polygonatum extract compared with the major antioxidant, vitamin E, in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet. Rabbits were given a high-cholesterol (0.5%, wt/wt) diet with vitamin E (0.03%, wt/wt) or a Polygonatum extract (0.05%, wt/wt) for 8 weeks. The body weight gain (g/week) was only significantly increased only in the high-cholesterol-fed control group, yet the relative liver weight was significantly lower in the Polygonatum group compared with the other groups. The supplementation of vitamin E and Polygonatum extract led to an increase in the hepatic catalase (CAT) activity without any change in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities. Hepatic total glutathione content was significantly higher in the Polygonatum group than in the other groups. The level of hepatic mitochondrial H(2)O(2) was significantly lower in the two supplemented groups compared with the control group, whereas the level of cytosolic H(2)O(2) was only significantly lower in the Polygonatum group than in the control group. The level of plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) was only significantly lower in the vitamin E group, whereas the level of hepatic TBARS was slightly lower in the Polygonatum group than in the other groups. In the case of the high-density lipoprotein-related antioxidant enzyme, vitamin E supplementation produced the highest plasma paraoxonase (PON) activity compared with the other groups, although there was no difference in the hepatic PON activity among the groups. Meanwhile, the plasma vitamin E concentration was significantly higher in the vitamin E and Polygonatum groups than in the control group; however, plasma vitamin A concentration did not differ significantly between the groups. As regards the mRNA expressions of hepatic antioxidant enzymes, the vitamin E and Polygonatum extract supplementation had no effect on the SOD, CAT, GSH-Px, and PON mRNA expression. Accordingly, these results indicate that the Polygonatum extract had a positive effect on the antioxidant defense system based on decreasing the content of hepatic TBARS and hydrogen peroxide, increasing the CAT activity and total glutathione level in the liver, and sparing the plasma vitamin E. Thus, further studies on the functional components in Polygonatum extract and their biological efficacies are needed.