The anti-atherosclerotic effect of tanshinol borneol ester using fecal metabolomics based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry†
Tanshinol borneol ester (DBZ) is a novel experimental compound that consists of two chemical structural units from danshensu and borneol. It exhibits efficacious anti-ischemic and anti-atherosclerosis activities in rats. A fecal metabolomics based on Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry combined with clinical histopathology and blood lipid estimation was employed to assess the efficacy and the metabolic changes caused by administration of DBZ in atherosclerotic rats. There were the typical pathological features of atherosclerosis and significantly increased levels of TC, TG and LDL-C in the atherosclerotic rat group. Nevertheless, atherosclerotic rats administered both DBZ (at a dose of 40 mg kg−1) and simvastatin (at a dose of 20 mg kg−1) showed good therapeutic effects. The results of the metabolomics studies showed that 55 differential metabolites such as sebacic acid, enterodiol, nonanedioic acid, dodecanedioic acid, cholic acid, 13(S)-HPODE, deoxycholic acid, some phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidic acids were found, indicating that abnormal metabolism occurred in the pathways of fatty acid oxidation, linoleic acid metabolism, bile acid biosynthesis and glycerophospholipid metabolism in atherosclerotic rats. Compared to those in the model group, the contents of 41 differential metabolites showed a tendency to recover to a healthy level after DBZ administration. Metabolomics studies suggested that DBZ exhibited good treatment efficacy against atherosclerosis by adjusting disturbed metabolic pathways related to atherosclerosis. This study could provide an experimental basis for DBZ's application to act as a candidate drug with anti-atherosclerosis activity.