Elevated plasma cholesterol, especially low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, is one of the major risk factors for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Hereditary hypertriglyceridemic rats (hHTG) were developed as a new inbred model for the study of relationships between blood pressure and metabolic abnormalities. The aim of this work was to determine the cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects of the novel pyridoindol derivative SMe1EC2, compared to the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin, in rats fed either standard or high-fat and high-cholesterol diet (HFC; 1% cholesterol and 7.5% lard fat). Male hHTG rats fed HFC (HTG+HFC) were administered with SMe1EC2 or atorvastatin (both 50 mg/kg/day p.o.) for 4 weeks. Physiological status of animals was monitored by the measurement of preprandial glucose levels and blood pressure. Lipid profile was characterized by the serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), HDL-, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides (TRG). The concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) was evaluated in the kidney, liver and serum. Further, the assessment of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-6 in the serum was completed. Feeding the animals with HFC diet resulted in increased serum levels of TC, LDL and TRG. SMe1EC2 ameliorated serum levels of LDL in hHTG rats, both on standard and HFC diet. These effects were comparable with those of the standard hypolipidemicum atorvastatin. SMe1EC2 lowered blood pressure, tissue TBARS concentrations and serum IL-1 levels of HTG+HFC rats. Beneficial effects together with very good toxicity profile predestinate SMe1EC2 to be promising agent for further surveys related to metabolic syndrome features.
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