DOI: 10.3390/md21120624 ISSN: 1660-3397

Laminarin Reduces Cholesterol Uptake and NPC1L1 Protein Expression in High-Fat Diet (HFD)-Fed Mice

Zhuoqian He, Zhongyin Zhang, Pengfei Xu, Verena M. Dirsch, Limei Wang, KeWei Wang
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Aberrantly high dietary cholesterol intake and intestinal cholesterol uptake lead to dyslipidemia, one of the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Based on previous studies, laminarin, a polysaccharide found in brown algae, has hypolipidemic activity, but its underlying mechanism has not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effect of laminarin on intestinal cholesterol uptake in vitro, as well as the lipid and morphological parameters in an in vivo model of high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice, and addressed the question of whether Niemann–Pick C1-like 1 protein (NPC1L1), a key transporter mediating dietary cholesterol uptake, is involved in the mechanistic action of laminarin. In in vitro studies, BODIPY-cholesterol-labeled Caco-2 cells were examined using confocal microscopy and a fluorescence reader. The results demonstrated that laminarin inhibited cholesterol uptake into Caco-2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner (EC50 = 20.69 μM). In HFD-fed C57BL/6J mice, laminarin significantly reduced the serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), total triglycerides (TG), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). It also decreased hepatic levels of TC, TG, and total bile acids (TBA) while promoting the excretion of fecal cholesterol. Furthermore, laminarin significantly reduced local villous damage in the jejunum of HFD mice. Mechanistic studies revealed that laminarin significantly downregulated NPC1L1 protein expression in the jejunum of HFD-fed mice. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of NPC1L1 attenuated the laminarin-mediated inhibition of cholesterol uptake in Caco-2 cells. This study suggests that laminarin significantly improves dyslipidemia in HFD-fed mice, likely by reducing cholesterol uptake through a mechanism that involves the downregulation of NPC1L1 expression.

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