Insights into the antiatherogenic molecular mechanisms of andrographolide against Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits
Atherosclerosis is the commonest and most important vascular disease. Andrographolide (AND) is the main bioactive component of the medicinal plant Andrographis paniculata and is used in traditional medicine. This study was aimed to evaluate the antiatherogenic effect of AND against atherosclerosis induced by Porphyromonas gingivalis in White New Zealand rabbits. Thirty rabbits were divided into five groups as follows: G1, normal group; G2-5, were orally challenged with P. gingivalis five times a week over 12 weeks; G2, atherogenic control group; G3, standard group treated with atorvastatin (AV) 5 mg/kg; and G4 and G5, treatment groups treated with AND 10 and 20 mg/kg, respectively over 12 weeks. Serums were subjected to antioxidant enzymatic and anti-inflammatory activities, and the aorta was subjected to histological analyses. Groups treated with AND showed a significant reversal of liver and renal biochemical changes, compared with the atherogenic control group. In the same groups, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total glutathione (GSH) levels in serum were significantly increased (P < 0.05), and lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde (MDA)) levels were significantly decreased (P < 0.05), respectively. Furthermore, treated groups with AV and AND showed significant decrease in the level of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 compared with the atherogenic control group. In aortic homogenate, the level of nitrotyrosine was significantly increased, while the level of MCP1 was significantly decreased in AV and AND groups compared with the atherogenic control group. In addition, staining the aorta with Sudan IV showed a reduction in intimal thickening plaque in AV and AND groups compared with the atherogenic control group. AND has showed an antiatherogenic property as well as the capability to reduce lipid, liver, and kidney biomarkers in atherogenic serum that prevents atherosclerosis complications caused by P. gingivalis.