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An Egg-Enriched Diet Attenuates Plasma Lipids and Mediates Cholesterol Metabolism of High-Cholesterol Fed Rats


We investigated the influence of an egg-enriched diet on plasma, hepatic and fecal lipid levels and on gene expression levels of transporters, receptors and enzymes involved in cholesterol metabolism. Sprague–Dawley rats fed an egg-enriched diet had lower plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, hepatic triglyceride, and cholesterol concentrations, and greater plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, fecal neutral sterol and bile acid concentrations than those fed a plain cholesterol diet. Chicken egg yolk had no effect on sterol 12α-hydroxylase and sterol 27α-hydroxylase; but upregulated mRNA levels of hepatic LDL-receptor, cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) and lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase, and downregulated hepatic hydroxymethylglutaryl-(HMG)-CoA reductase and acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) after 90 days. Modification of the lipoprotein profile by an egg-enriched diet was mediated by reducing de novo cholesterol synthesis and enhancing the excretion of fecal cholesterol, via upregulation of CYP7A1 and the LDL receptor, and downregulation of HMG-CoA reductase and ACAT.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Cardiovascular disease






Spontaneously hypertensive rats


Real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction




Common control group


Cholesterol group


Egg yolk group


Whole egg group


Total bile acid






Hematoxylin and eosin


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA reductase


LDL receptor


Cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase


Sterol 27α-hydroxylase


Sterol 12α-hydroxylase


Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase


Lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase


Egg white protein


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We duly acknowledge the financial support received from the earmarked fund for Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System (Project Code No.: nycytx-41-g22).

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All authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Meihu Ma.

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Yang, F., Ma, M., Xu, J. et al. An Egg-Enriched Diet Attenuates Plasma Lipids and Mediates Cholesterol Metabolism of High-Cholesterol Fed Rats. Lipids 47, 269–277 (2012).

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  • Egg-enriched diet
  • Cholesterol
  • Plasma lipids
  • mRNA expression