Planta Med 2008; 74: p. 137

Planta Med 2008; 74: p. 137

Antiatheromatic and hypolipidemic activity of Chios Mastic Gum in anesthetized rabbits 


Paraschos S1, Andreadou I2, Iliodromitis E3, Zoga A3, Magiatis P1, Mitaku S1, Kaklamanis L4, Skaltsounis AL1, Kremastinos DT2

1 Laboratory of Pharmacognosy,

2 Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Athens, Panestimiopolis Zografou, 15771, Athens, Greece; 

3 Second University Department of Cardiology, Medical School, Attikon General Hospital, University of Athens,

4 Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, 356 Sygrou Avenue, 17674 Athens, Greece 


Chios Mastic gum, the resin of the trunk and branches of Pistacia lentis-cus var. chia (Anacardiaceae), has been used since antiquity in tradi- tional greek medicine. The main compounds of mastic are triterpenes,  both acidic and neutral. Tirucallol and butyrospermol, the main neutral components, possess phytosterolic structure. This led to the hypothesis that mastic and particularly its neutral phytosterolic fraction could pos-sess antiatheromatic activities. Mastic Total Extract without Polymer (TMEWP) and the phytosterolic fraction (Neutral Mastic Fraction, NMF), were administered to rabbits in the form of sunflower oil solution for 6 weeks. Anesthetized rabbits were subjected to 30 min regional ischemia of the heart, followed by 3 hrs of reperfusion and were rando-mized into 6groups:Normal fed animals: Control group, GroupA, treated with 46.3 mg/(kg-d) of TMEWP, Group B, treated with 45.8mg/(kg-d) of

NMF. Animals fed with cholesterol-enriched diet: CHOLgroup, GroupC,

treated with 46.3 mg/(kg-d) of TMEWP, Group D, treated with 45.8 mg/ (kg-d) of NMF. At the end of the experiment the infarct size was deter-mined and small segments of the ascending and descending aorta and the heart were taken for histologic examination. Blood samples were collected at several time points, for malondialdehyde (MDA) and for total cholesterol determination. NMF reduced the infarct size (18.3±3.4%, P < 0.05), while the administration of TMEWP did not re-duce the infarct size significantly (30.3±4.7% vs. 47.0±1.9% in the con-trol group) in the normal fed rabbits.  In the hypercholesterolemic rab-bits no reduction on infarct size was observed by both treatments. There was no detection of atherogenesis in the form of subintimal accumula-tion of lipids and foamy macrophages in GroupA and Group B. TMEWP and NMF reduced the total cholesterol concentration by 47 and 88% respectively (P < 0.01). MDA levels were elevated in all study groups at the 20th min of reperfusion. Long term treatment of Mastic Total Ex-tract and the phytosterolic fraction possesses  significant  antiathero-matic and hypolipidemic activities in the hypercholesterolemic  rabbits in vivo. The phytosterolic fraction reduces significant the infarct size in the normal fed rabbits. Acknowledgements: ELPEN

References:  1. Paraschos,  S.  et  al.  (2007)  Antimicrob  Agents  Ch 51(2):551 - 559. 2. Gylling, H. et al (1999) Metabolism 48(5):575 - 580 3. Ortega, R.M. et al (2006) Br J Nutr 96:S89 -93.

This paper is part of the 03ED375 research project, implemented within the framework of the -Reinforcement Programme of Human Research Manpower- (PENED) and co-financed by National and Community Funds (25% from the Greek Ministry of Development-General Secretariat of Research and Technology and 75% from E.U.-European Social Fund).

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