Cholesterol efflux and the effect of combined treatment with niacin and chromium on aorta of hyperlipidemic rat.

Castillo S. S. , Doger M. M. , Bolkent Ş. , Yanardag R.

Molecular and cellular biochemistry, vol.308, pp.151-9, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Endothelial cells may play a potential role in cholesterol efflux from peripheral tissues to liver. Cholesterol efflux from cells is essential for activation of the reverse cholesterol transport pathway and cardiovascular health. One of the cholesterol transporters is steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) which promotes intramitochondrial delivery of cholesterol to the cholesterol side-chain cleavage system. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of a niacin-chromium complex on aortas of hyperlipidemic rats and on the cholesterol efflux from aorta endothelial cells by examination under light and transmission electron microscopes and evaluating the StAR immunoreactivity, respectively. Aorta lipid peroxidation (LPO) and glutathione (GSH) levels were determined by spectrophotometric methods. After treating hyperlipidemic animals with the complex, the StAR immunoreactivity in endothelial cells increased to achieve cholesterol homeostasis and efflux. Combined treatment with niacin and chromium resulted in an inhibition in the mast cell secretion and a decrease in lipid vacuole size in unilocular adipose tissue surrounding aorta, as well as in a decrease in morphological degenerations observing in aorta of hyperlipidemic rats. Aorta LPO levels increased and GSH levels decreased in the hyperlipidemic group, whereas treatment with niacin and chromium reversed these effects. In conclusion, this study reveals that combined treatment with niacin and chromium prevents the morphological and biochemical changes observed in thoracic aorta of hyperlipidemic rats, and may regulate effectively cardiovascular diseases inducing an increase in StAR levels on endothelial cells.