Background: Ligaria cuneifolia (Lc) (R. et P.) Tiegh. (Loranthaceae) (Argentine mistletoe) is usually
used in local folk medicine.
Objective: We studied the effect of treatment with the Lc proanthocyanidin-enriched fraction (PLc) in rats fed
with Cho-enriched diet on plasma lipids levels, the hemorheological parameters, and biliary secretion.
Method: Adult male Wistar rats were fed ad libitum with a Cho-enriched diet (Cho (97% purity) 8 g/kg of
diet and corn oil 280 g/kg of diet) during 28 days. Then, were separated in six experimental groups (n=5 each
one), which were injected ip every 24 h with: 1) saline solution (control group, C) and 2) PLc, 3 mg/100 g
body weight (treated group, C+PLc), during 3, 7 and 10 days. Group C presented an increase in plasma levels
of Cho and Triglycerides (TG), and also, accumulation of hepatic lipid droplets. Also, cell shape and their corresponding
morphological index (MI) were altered too.
Results: The treatment with PLc at 3, 7 and 10 days produces a diminution in the plasma Cho, LDL-Cho and
serum TG levels, accompanied by a diminution of the lipid accumulation in the liver. The rates of bile acid
output in bile can explain the diminution of plasma Cho, evidencing that some of the enzymes involved in the
cholesterol conversion into bile acids could be up regulated by the treatment with PLc, leading to the observed
increase bile flow. PLc treatment leads to a diminution of plasma levels of Cho and TG.
Conclusion: Essentially, the treatment with PLc, despite the duration produces a modification in hemorheological
parameters approaching the values of the experimental group with standard diet. Plasma levels of Cho,
LDL-Cho and TG represent selected markers to evaluate the effect of enriched extract from Ligaria cuneifolia.
Further work is necessary to better evaluate the mechanisms by which PLc induces modifications in the