Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Hypercholesterolemic Activities of Wasabia japonica
The effects of Wasabia japonica (WJ) were investigated in vitro and in vivo for their anti-oxidant and anti-hypercholesterolemic activities. It was found that the aqueous extracts of WJ leaves (WJL) had strong scavenging activities towards 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) and nitric oxide (NO) free radicals in cell free systems. WJL also inhibited NO production and the expressions of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) mRNA and enzyme protein, determined by Griess reactions, RT-PCR or Western blotting respectively in Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages cells. The anti-hypercholesterolemic effects of WJ diet were investigated in hypercholesterolemia rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups and were fed with either normal diet (Group 1), or diet containing 1%(w/w) cholesterol (Groups 2, 3 and 4). After 4 weeks, Group 2 was changed to normal diet, Groups 3 and 4 were changed to the diet containing 5% WJ leaf and or 5% WJ root, respectively. 3 weeks after WJ diets, Serum HDL-cholesterol levels were significantly increased in WJ diet groups compared with the normal diet hypercholesterolemia rats. In contrast, the serum LDL-cholesterol levels and liver xanthine oxidase (XO) activity in WJ diet groups were significantly decreased. The results indicate that the WJ extracts have significant anti-oxidant activities, and the WJ diet exhibited anti-hypercholesterolemic action in high cholesterol diet rats, which was companied with modulations of cholesterol metabolism and decrease in liver XO activity.