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The anti-inflammatory effect of kaempferol on early atherosclerosis in high cholesterol fed rabbits

Lingxi Kong, Cheng Luo, Xiuying Li, Yuanda Zhou* and Haixia He

Author Affiliations

Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacy, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, PR China

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2013, 12:115  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-12-115

Published: 29 July 2013



Atherosclerosis has been widely accepted as an inflammatory disease of vascular, adhesion molecules play an important role in the early progression of it. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of kaempferol on the inflammatory molecules such as E-selectin (E-sel), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesionmolecule-1 (VCAM-1) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) in high cholesterol induced atherosclerosis rabbit models.


Thirty male New Zealand white (NZW) rabbits were randomly divided into five groups, control group, model group, fenofibrate (12mg/kg) group and kaempferol groups (150 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg). The rabbits were fed with a normal diet or a high cholesterol diet for 10 weeks. Levels of blood lipids, serum tumour-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and serum interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) were detected at the end of the sixth and tenth week. Malonaldehyde (MDA) level and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in serum were also determined. Lesion areas of the aorta were measured with morphometry analysis after ten weeks. Gene expression of E-sel, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MCP-1 in aortas was determined by RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction). Immunohistochemical staining was employed to measure protein expression of E-sel, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MCP-1.


Model rabbits fed with ten weeks of high-cholesterol diet developed significant progression of atherosclerosis. Compared with the control, levels of blood lipids, TNF-α, IL-1β and MDA increased markedly in serum of model rabbits, while SOD levels decreased. Gene and protein expressions of E-sel, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MCP-1 in atherosclerotic aortas increased remarkably in model group. However, comparing to the model rabbits, levels of TNF-α, IL-1β and MDA decreased significantly and serum SOD activity increased, gene and protein expressions of E-sel, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and MCP-1 in aortas decreased significantly with the treatment of kaempferol.


Kaempferol shows anti-atherosclerotic effect by modulating the gene and protein expression of inflammatory molecules.

Kaempferol; Atherosclerosis; Inflammation; Vascular adhesion molecule