Beneficial effects of hydro-alcoholic extract of Zuccagnia punctata against atherosclerosis in normal weight obesity accompanied by hypercholesterolemia rabbit model

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  • Agostina Valoy Instituto Superior de Investigaciones Biológicas (INSIBIO), UNT-CONICET, 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
  • Gabriela Alarcón Instituto Superior de Investigaciones Biológicas (INSIBIO), UNT-CONICET, 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
  • Julieta Roco Instituto Superior de Investigaciones Biológicas (INSIBIO), UNT-CONICET, 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
  • Catiana Iris Zampini Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (UNT), Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo, 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
  • María Ines Isla Instituto de Bioprospección y Fisiología Vegetal (INBIOFIV, UNT-CONICET), 4000, Tucumán,Argentina
  • Susana Josefina Jerez Instituto Superior de Investigaciones Biológicas (INSIBIO), UNT-CONICET, 4000, Tucumán, Argentina



Zuccagnia punctata, Insulin resistance, Hypercholesterolemia, Flavonoids


Insulin resistance (IR) increases the synthesis of cholesterol so hypercholesterolemia is one regular feature of obesity. Rich in flavonoids Zuccagnia punctata extract (Zp-E) is a traditional herbal medicine found to be beneficial against hypercholesterolemia-induced oxidative damage. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of Zp-E in a diet-induced rabbit model of IR accompanied by hypercholesterolemia. The major components of the Zp-E were analyzed by using a reversed-phase HPLC method. Male hybrid rabbits (cross between New Zealand and Californian certificated breeds) were separated into six groups: 1: fed on regular chow (SD), 2: fed on SD supplemented with 18% fat and 0.3% cholesterol (HC-HFD), 3, 4, 5: fed on HC-HFD and orally administered 2.5 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg GAE/day of Zp-E, respectively, 6: fed on HC-HFD and orally administered 2.5 mg ezetimibe/kg/day. All diets were administered for 6 weeks. The major compounds of Zp-E identified were chalcones: 2′,4′-dihydroxy-3′-methoxychalcone and 2′,4′-dihydroxychalcone. Zp-E only at 2.5 mg GAE/day reduced total cholesterol and did not modify fasting glucose, visceral abdominal fat, or IR at any of the doses tested. Zp-E normalized TBARS levels, sudanophilic area, and intima/media ratio at all the doses tested while significantly improving acetylcholine relaxation only at 5 mg GAE/day. Despite Zp-E's failure to prevent IR under hypercholesterolemic conditions, the extract showed protective effects on blood vessels by preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaque through its strong antioxidant properties.


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How to Cite

Valoy, A., Alarcón, G., Roco, J., Zampini, C. I., Isla, M. I., & Jerez, S. J. (2023). Beneficial effects of hydro-alcoholic extract of Zuccagnia punctata against atherosclerosis in normal weight obesity accompanied by hypercholesterolemia rabbit model. International Journal of Plant Based Pharmaceuticals, 3(2), 156–164.



Research Articles
Received 2023-03-28
Accepted 2023-07-24
Published 2023-07-29