Bioactive Triterpenes of Protium heptaphyllum Gum Resin Extract Display Cholesterol-Lowering Potential.

International journal of molecular sciences (2021-04-04)
Giuseppe Mannino, Piera Iovino, Antonino Lauria, Tullio Genova, Alberto Asteggiano, Monica Notarbartolo, Alessandra Porcu, Graziella Serio, Giorgia Chinigò, Andrea Occhipinti, Andrea Capuzzo, Claudio Medana, Luca Munaron, Carla Gentile

Hypercholesterolemia is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease, the risk of which is further increased if other forms of dyslipidemia occur. Current therapeutic strategies include changes in lifestyle coupled with drug administration. Statins represent the most common therapeutic approach, but they may be insufficient due to the onset of resistance mechanisms and side effects. Consequently, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia prefer the use of food supplements since these are perceived to be safer. Here, we investigate the phytochemical profile and cholesterol-lowering potential of Protium heptaphyllum gum resin extract (PHE). Chemical characterization via HPLC-APCI-HRMS2 and GC-FID/MS identified 13 compounds mainly belonging to ursane, oleanane, and tirucallane groups. Studies on human hepatocytes have revealed how PHE is able to reduce cholesterol production and regulate the expression of proteins involved in its metabolism. (HMGCR, PCSK9, LDLR, FXR, IDOL, and PPAR). Moreover, measuring the inhibitory activity of PHE against HMGR, moderate inhibition was recorded. Finally, molecular docking studies identified acidic tetra- and pentacyclic triterpenoids as the main compounds responsible for this action. In conclusion, our study demonstrates how PHE may be a useful alternative to contrast hypercholesterolemia, highlighting its potential as a sustainable multitarget natural extract for the nutraceutical industry that is rapidly gaining acceptance as a source of health-promoting compounds.

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Cannabis Terpene Mix B, certified reference material, 2000 μg/mL each component in methanol, ampule of 1 mL