Lipid-lowering effect of bergamot polyphenolic fraction: role of pancreatic cholesterol ester hydrolase

V Musolino, M Gliozzi, C Carresi, J Maiuolo, R Mollace, F Bosco, F Scarano, M Scicchitano, A Maretta, E Palma, M Iannone, V M Morittu, S Gratteri, C Muscoli, M Fini, V Mollace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bergamot polyphenolic fraction (BPF) has been shown to positively modulate several mechanisms involved in metabolic syndrome, suggesting its use in therapy. In particular, it is able to induce a significant amelioration of serum lipid profile in hyperlipemic patients at different levels. The purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of BPF on cholesterol absorption physiologically mediated by pancreatic cholesterol ester hydrolase (pCEH). An in vitro activity assay was performed to study the effect of BPF on pCEH, whereas the rate of cholesterol absorption was evaluated through in vivo studies. In particular, male, Sprague-Dawley rats (200–225 g) were fed either normal chow or chow supplemented with 0.5% cholic acid, 5.5% peanut oil, and varying amounts of cholesterol (0 to 1.5%). BPF (10 mg/Kg) was daily administrated by means of a gastric gavage to animals fed with lipid supplemented diet for 4 weeks and, at the end of the study, plasma lipids and liver cholesteryl esters were measured in all experimental groups. Our results show that BPF was able to inhibit pCEH activity and this effect was confirmed, in vivo, via detection of lymphatic cholesteryl ester in rats fed with a cholesterol-rich diet. This evidence clarifies a further mechanism responsible for the hypolipemic properties of BPF previously observed in humans, confirming its beneficial effect in the therapy of hypercholesterolemia and in the treatment of metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1093
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 20 2017


  • Animals
  • Cholesterol/administration & dosage
  • Cholesterol Esters/blood
  • Cholic Acid/administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Gastrointestinal Absorption/physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias/drug therapy
  • Hypolipidemic Agents/metabolism
  • Liver/drug effects
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome/drug therapy
  • Plant Oils/metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sterol Esterase/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Triglycerides/blood


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