Prevention of hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis in the hyperlipidemia- and atherosclerosis-prone Japanese (LAP) quail by taurine supplementation
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The effects of taurine supplementation on the serum cholesterol levels and the progression of atherosclerosis were investigated in the hyperlipidemia- and atherosclerosis-prone Japanese (LAP) quail. The ingestion of a high-cholesterol diet containing 1% cholesterol by LAP quails for 60 days resulted in a marked elevation in serum non-HDL cholesterol and triglyceride, as well as severe aortic lesions with lipid droplets. An immunohistochemical study showed that the lesion consisted of mainly lipid-rich macrophages and T cells. Sixty-day taurine supplementation (1% in drinking tap water) to LAP quails fed high-cholesterol diet containing 1% cholesterol significantly reduced serum non-HDL cholesterol from 4,549 to 2,350 mg/dl. The serum triglyceride level also decreased after taurine supplementation from 703 to 392 mg/dl. Although the HDL cholesterol level significantly decreased due to the high-cholesterol diet, it recovered to the control level fed a regular diet in response to taurine. Bile acid production was stimulated and hepatic cholesterol was reduced by taurine supplementation. A quantitative analysis using aortic cross-sections showed that areas of oil-red O positive lipid accumulation significantly decreased by 74% after taurine supplementation. These results demonstrated the lipid-lowering and anti-atherosclerotic effects of taurine in a diet-induced hyperlipidemic LAP quail model. The prevention of atherosclerosis by taurine is mainly attributed to an improvement in the serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which may be related to changes in the hepatic cholesterol metabolism.
KeywordsTaurine LAP quail Atherosclerosis Hypercholesterolemia
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