Anti-hyperlipidemic effects of Caralluma edulis (Asclepiadaceae) and Verbena officinalis (Verbenaceae) whole plants against high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemia in mice
Purpose: To investigate the anti-hyperlipidemic effect of Caralluma edulis and Verbena officinalis.
Methods: Phytochemical analysis of crude extracts of Caralluma edulis (Ce.Cr) and Verbena officinalis (Vo.Cr) were carried out. Hyperlipidemia was induced in mice with high-fat diet (HFD, 1.25 % w/w cholesterol, 0.5 % w/w cholic acid and 10 % v/w coconut oil). All the groups, except the saline-treated group, were fed on HFD for 4 weeks (lead-in period) to induce hyperlipidemia. Thereafter, the groups were treated with varying doses of the plant extract for 2 weeks (treatment period) as well as atorvastatin (10 mg/kg) reference standard. Body weight was measured fortnightly for all groups. Total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TGs) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were assayed using Merck diagnostic kits. For histopathological analysis, liver slices were fixed in 10 % formalin and embedded in paraffin wax and was examined with the aid of hematoxylin and eosin staining (H & E).
Results: Caralluma edulis (Ce.Cr) contains saponins, alkaloids, tannins, phenol, glycosides, terpenoids and flavonoids while Verbena officinalis (Vo.Cr) tested positive for the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, saponins and tannins. HFD increased total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TGs), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) compared to regulator diet (p < 0.001). Treatment of the animals with Ce.Cr and Vo.Cr dose-dependently (500 - 1000 mg/kg) reduced serum TC, TGs, LDL and VLDL (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, p < 0.001, vs. HFD group) and raised high density lipoprotein (HDL) (p < 0.01, vs. HFD group), similar to that observed with atorvastatin (10 mg/kg). The anti-hyperlipidemic effects of Ce.Cr and Vo.Cr were also confirmed via liver histopathology results, showing improved structure with no hepatocellular necrosis and fat accumulation.
Conclusion: These results indicate that Caralluma edulis and Verbena officinalis exhibit antihyperlipidemic effect; thus, the plants have therapeutic potentials for the management of lipid disorders.
Keywords: Caralluma edulis, Verbena officinalis, Anti-hyperlipidemia, Hepatocellular necrosis