Molecular medicine reports

Effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides on oxidative stress in hyperlipidemic mice following chronic composite psychological stress intervention.

PMID 25543669


Chronic composite psychological stress intervention is the accumulation of factors which may induce psychological stress, including food deprivation, water deprivation and swimming in cold water. Approximately 40% of cases of atherosclerosis are associated with chronic composite psychological stress. The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP) on blood lipid levels and oxidative stress in hyperlipidemic mice, following chronic composite psychological stress. A hyperlipidemic mouse model was generated, and the mice were subjected to chronic composite psychological stress and treated with LBP for 30 days. After 30 days the triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) levels were measured in the serum, and the mRNA expression levels of cholesterol 7α‑hydroxylase (CYP7A1) were determined in the liver, in order to observe any changes to lipid metabolism. The levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured in the liver to evaluate the effects of LBP on oxidative stress. The blood serum levels of interleukin‑6 (IL‑6) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP‑70) were measured to evaluate the extent of the aortic inflammatory response, and to determine the protective effects of LBP. The levels of TG, TC, MDA and IL‑6 were significantly higher in the mice subjected to chronic composite psychological stress (HS), as compared with the mice treated with LBP alone (HL), or treated with LBP and subjected to stress (HLS). In addition, SOD and HSP‑70 levels, and the mRNA expression levels of CYP7A1 were significantly lower in the HS group, as compared with that in the HL and HLS groups. These results suggest that chronic composite psychological stress may promote the occurrence and development of atherosclerosis, by inducing the aortic inflammatory response and lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, treatment with LBP significantly inhibited oxidative stress and the aortic inflammatory response.