Author(s): Andersson KE, Svedberg KA, Lindholm MW, Oste R, Hellstrand P
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Abstract AIM: The cholesterol-lowering properties of oats, largely ascribed to its contents of soluble fibers, beta-glucans, are well established, whereas effects on atherogenesis are less well elucidated. Oats also contains components with reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may affect atherogenesis. In this work we examined effects of oat bran on plasma cholesterol, markers of inflammation, eNOS expression and development of atherosclerosis in LDL-receptor-deficient (LDLr(-/-)) mice. METHODS AND RESULTS: Female LDLr(-/-) mice were fed Western diet+/-oat bran. Two concentrations of oat bran (40 and 27\%) were compared regarding effects on plasma lipids. There was a dose-dependent reduction of plasma cholesterol by 42 and 20\% with 40 and 27\% oat bran, respectively. Both concentrations also lowered plasma triglycerides (by 45 and 33\%) and relative levels of plasma LDL+VLDL. The reduction of plasma lipids was accompanied by increased faecal excretion of cholesterol and bile acids. Oat bran (40\%) efficiently reduced atherosclerotic lesion area in the descending aorta (-77\%) and aortic root (-33\%). Plasma levels of fibrinogen and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) were significantly lower, and immunofluorescence of aortic sections revealed a 75\% lower expression of VCAM-1 in oat-fed mice. The expression of eNOS protein in the aortic wall was increased in mice fed oat bran. CONCLUSIONS: Oat bran supplemented to a Western diet lowers plasma cholesterol, reduces levels of some inflammatory markers, increases eNOS expression and inhibits atherosclerotic lesion development in LDLr(-/-) mice. It remains to be investigated which components in oats contribute to these effects. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Atherosclerosis
and referenced in Clinical Microbiology: Open Access