Serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and cholesterol excretion are closely associated with the risk of cardiovascular complications. The specific aim of the present study was to investigate the cholesterol lowering effect of mulberry fruit in rats fed a high cholesterol/cholic acid diet. Four-week supplementation with mulberry fruit extract significantly decreased serum and hepatic cholesterol (TC), serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and fecal bile acid levels without changes in body weight and food intake (p < 0.05). Mulberry fruit extract significantly inhibited hepatic sterol-regulatory element binding protein (Srebp) 2 gene expression and upregulated hepatic mRNA levels of liver X receptor alpha (Lxr-α), ATP-binding cassette transporter 5 (Abcg5), and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1), which are involved in hepatic bile acid synthesis and cholesterol metabolism (p < 0.05). In addition, hepatic microRNA-33 expression was significantly inhibited by supplementation of mulberry fruit extract (p < 0.05). These results suggest the involvement of miR-33, its associated hepatic bile acid synthesis, HDL formation, and cholesterol metabolism in mulberry fruit-mediated beneficial effects on serum and hepatic lipid abnormalities.
- Bile acid
- Cholesterol efflux
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)
- Mulberry fruit