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Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00159

6-gingerol regulates hepatic cholesterol metabolism by up-regulation of LDLR and cholesterol efflux-related genes in HepG2 cells

  • 1Jinan University, China

Gingerols, the pungent ingredients in ginger, are reported to possess a cholesterol-lowering activity. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. The present study was to investigate how 6-gingerol (6-GN), the most abundant gingerol in fresh ginger, regulates hepatic cholesterol metabolism. HepG2 cells were incubated with various concentrations of 6-GN ranging from 50-200 μM for 24 h. Results showed both cellular total cholesterol and free cholesterol decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Besides, 6-GN ranging from 100-200 μM increased the LDLR protein and uptake of fluorescent-labeled LDL. Moreover, the mRNA and protein expressions of cholesterol metabolism related-genes were also examined. It was found that 6-GN regulated cholesterol metabolism via up-regulation of LDLR through activation of SREBP2 as well as up-regulation of cholesterol efflux-related genes LXRα and ABCA1.

Keywords: 6-gingerol, cholesterol metabolism, LDLR, Cholesterol efflux, ABCA1

Received: 30 Oct 2017; Accepted: 13 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Satish Kitambi, Karolinska Institute (KI), Sweden

Reviewed by:

Bruno Vogt, University of Bern, Switzerland
Marc Poirot, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), France  

Copyright: © 2018 Li, Guo, Liang, Jiang, Song, Ou, Hu, Jiao and Bai. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Rui Jiao, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China, tjiaorui@jnu.edu.cn