Dietary antioxidants inhibit development of fatty streak lesions in the LDL receptor-deficient mouse.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1998 Sep; 18(9):1506-13.AT
Oxidized low density lipoprotein (LDL) promotes atherogenesis. Although pharmacological antioxidants such as probucol inhibit both LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic animals, the effects of natural antioxidants such as vitamin E are inconclusive. To further determine the effects of supplemental dietary antioxidants in vivo, we evaluated whether combined dietary antioxidants (0.1% vitamin E, 0.5% beta-carotene, and 0.05% vitamin C) inhibit LDL oxidation and fatty streak lesion development in homozygous LDL receptor-null (LDLR-/-) mice fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. An additional group of mice were fed black tea, which has been shown to inhibit LDL oxidation in vitro. After receiving a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet for 8 weeks, the combined antioxidant-supplemented (antioxidant) group (n=18), tea group (n=19), and control group (n=17) had equivalent plasma cholesterol levels. LDL oxidation, as measured by the lag phase of conjugated diene formation, was markedly inhibited in the antioxidant group compared with the tea or control groups [mean lag phases=143+/-7 (antioxidant), 100+/-5 (tea), and 84+/-4 (control) minutes; P<0.0001 antioxidant versus tea or control]. The cross-sectional surface area of fatty streak lesions in the aortic sinus was reduced by 60% in the antioxidant group compared with both the tea and control groups (P<0.0001 antioxidant versus tea or control). There was no difference in lesion area between tea and control groups. Although both LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis were significantly inhibited in the antioxidant group, no correlation between lag phase values and lesion size was observed among individual animals. Furthermore, black tea did not inhibit fatty streak development in LDLR-/- mice. These data suggest that combined natural dietary antioxidants inhibit both LDL oxidation and atherogenesis in animals with elevated LDL but that inhibition of LDL oxidation alone may not prevent the development of atherosclerosis.