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Atherosclerosis is a condition of the arterial wall to ‘injury’, which is prominently driven by inflammatory and
proliferative responses. The objective of this investigation is to evaluate the impact of Zerumbone (ZER), a natural cyclic
sesquiterpene isolated from Zingiber zerumbet Smith against early-developed atherosclerotic lesion in the aorta of New
Zealand white rabbits fed a cholesterol-rich diet.
(CN) considered as control group was fed a standard rabbit pellet diet, EG-II (CP) given a cholesterol-rich diet (1%), EGIII
(Z+CP) given ZER (0.4%) two weeks before day 0 as preventive measure and thereafter with the course of cholesterolrich
diet, EG-IV (Z1+CP) given ZER (0.8%), EG-V (Z2+CP) given ZER (1%), EG-VI (S+CP) given Simvastatin (SIM)
(20 mg/Kg) and EG-VII (S+Z+CP) given ZER (0.8%) together with SIM (20mg/Kg). Experimental groups from EG-IV to
VII believed to represent the therapeutic measure of ZER against early-developed atherosclerosis. Tissue samples were
collected from the thoracic aorta and aortic arch at 12 weeks post-feeding for gross, histopathological and ultrastructural
(scanning electron microscopy) examination.
Morphological analysis (both microscopic and ultrastratural) revealed that endothelial damage and atheromas plague built
up were notably diminished in ZER treated groups in a dose dependent manner where it is more prominent in EG-III and
EG-VII compared to EGs-VI, V, and VI. However, most of the ZER treated groups showed obvious reduction in plague
development in contrast to cholesterol-rich diet group EG-II.
Our data indicate that dietary intake of ZER considerably averts and decreases early plague formation and development
via significant lessening in smooth muscle cells proliferation and reduction of inflammatory progression.