Hyperlipidemia and oxidation play major roles upon cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). C-phycocyanin (CPC), the major component in blue-green algae, possesses antiinflammatory and radical scavenging properties. Herein we aimed to investigate the effect of CPC upon lipid metabolism and its antioxidant effects. Golden Syrian hamsters were randomly assigned to five groups: (1) control; (2) 0.2% cholesterol; (3) 0.2% cholesterol+ 1% lopid; (4) 0.2% cholesterol+ 0.25% CPC; and (5) 0.2% cholesterol+ 1.25% CPC. All animals were sacrificed after 8-week feeding. Serum cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), and glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) were examined. The diene conjugation in the Cu 2+ -mediated oxidation of LDL was measured. The protein levels of several antioxidative enzymes including catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutases (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) of liver were assayed. HepG2 cells were cultured in medium containing various concentrations of CPC (0, 1, 15, and 30 μM). The mRNA concentrations of LDL receptor, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase, SOD-1 and GPx of HepG2 cells in each group were analyzed. CPC was effective in lowering serum cholesterol, total cholesterol (TC), TG, LDL, GOT, and GPT. CPC was found to decrease the malondialdehyde (MDA) equivalents and delay the diene conjugation in the Cu 2+ -mediated oxidation of LDL. CPC increase the enzyme expressions of CAT, SOD, and GPx. CPC concentrations were positively correlated with the mRNA level of LDL receptor while the mRNA levels of HMG CoA reductase, SOD-1, and GPx in HepG2 cells were not affected. The lipid-lowering and antioxidation effects of CPC suggest its roles in prevention of CVD and atherosclerotic formation.
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