In the present study, we hypothesized that onion peel extract (OPE) alters hepatic gene expression to improve blood cholesterol profiles. To investigate the effect of OPE to test our hypothesis, Sprague-Dawley rats were fed ad libitum for 8 weeks with the control, high-fat diet (HFD) or the high-fat diet with 0.2% OPE supplementations (HFD + OPE). Messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of genes in cholesterol metabolism and fatty acid metabolism were examined by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The OPE in HFD reverted high fat-induced reduction in mRNA levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2, low-density lipoprotein receptor, and hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme reductase genes in the liver comparable with the levels of the control group. Onion peel extract slightly increased stearoyl-coA desaturase 1 (SCD-1) expression compared with high-fat feeding. However, sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c and fatty acid synthase were not affected by high-fat or OPE feeding. Onion peel extract also enhanced expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ2 and scavenger receptor class B type I genes when compared with high-fat feeding. However, OPE did not influence high fat-triggered changes in apolipoprotein A1 mRNA levels and liver X receptor α were not affected by either high-fat or OPE feeding. Our results suggest that OPE changes the expression of genes associated with cholesterol metabolism in favor of lowering blood low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and enhancing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol through increasing mRNA abundance of low-density lipoprotein receptor and ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 genes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-0004530).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics