Objectives Banxiao capsule is a compound prescription formulated according to the Gualou Xieba Decoctio origined from Synopsis Golden Chamber, which has been used for the treatment of coronary heart disease and angina pectoris for several hundred years. The object of our study is to investigate the protective effect of Banxiao capsule on lowering serum lipid levels and Inhibiting the development of atherosclerosis in a rabbit model.
Methods Fifty male New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into five groups (n = 10 each). The rabbits in the normal group were fed with normal diet, while rabbits in model group and drug treatment groups were fed with high cholesterol, then receiving injury of the left carotid artery adventitia with digestion and blunt dissenction, meanwhile the contralateral ones were treated as sham operation. After establishment of atherosclerotic rabbit model, the rabbits were treated with atorvastatin or different dosage of Banxiao for 16 weeks according to the protocol. At the end, serum lipid and relative gene expressions in different tissues were investigated with FPLC and qPCR. And immunohistochemical analysis of carotid arteries were also evaluated.
Results After 16-week treatment, Banxiao could dose-dependently reduce triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and raise high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in blood than model groups. Compared with model group, Banxiao decreased the content of many inflammatory cytokines in plasma and plaques dose-dependently. Morphological analysis of carotid artery showed that Banxiao could increase fibrous cap thickness and percentage of smooth muscle cells, reduce lipid core area and macrophages, and meanwhile increase several genes attributing to inhibiting matrix degradation and inflammatory response as well as atorvastatin.
Conclusions Our study show that Banxiao capsule could lower serum lipid level and inhibit the development of atherosclerosis in rabbit model, which indicates it would be a novel and promising drug for the treatment of atherosclerotic relative diseases in clinic.