Protective effect of lupeol and its ester on cardiac abnormalities in experimental hypercholesterolemia

Varatharajan Sudhahar, Sekar Ashok Kumar, Sudharsan Periyasamy Thandavan, Palaninathan Varalakshmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Hyperlipidemia is a major risk factor for the premature development of coronary heart disease and it has been shown to increase the incidence of myocardial ischemia and cardiac events. Pentacyclic triterpenes possess antiatherosclerotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects. To study the effect of plant derived triterpene, lupeol and its ester lupeol linoleate, on lipid status and biochemical changes on heart tissue, male albino Wistar rats were fed high-cholesterol diet (normal rat chow supplemented with 4% cholesterol and 1% cholic acid; HCD) for 30 days. There was a significant (p < 0.001) increase in the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids along with augmented activities of lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase in the heart tissue. Triterpenes treatment reduced the above alterations produced in hypercholesterolemic rats. The transmembrane enzymes, namely Na+, K+-ATPase, Ca2+-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase showed a decrease in their activities. Triterpenes treatment reversed these levels, prevented the hypertrophic cardiac histology and restored the normal ultrastructural architecture. In conclusion, lupeol and lupeol linoleate intervention minimized the lipid abnormalities and abnormal biochemical changes induced by HCD fed rats. This shows that triterpenes possess cardioprotective effects which will be beneficial in hypercholesterolemic condition. Out of these two triterpenes tested, lupeol linoleate appeared to be even more effective than lupeol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-418
Number of pages7
JournalVascular Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Lipid
  • Transmembrane enzymes
  • Triterpenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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