Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 PhD Candidate, Department of Tissue Engineering and Cell Therapy, School of Advanced Medical Technologies, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Professor, Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Tabriz University o fMedical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


BACKGROUND: Atherosclerosis is the main cause of cardiovascular disease which is caused by a high-fat diet. Many of these patients use boiled quince leaves for their treatment. However, the supporting scientific information is limit. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of quince leaf on the progression of atherosclerosis and whether it can be an appropriate alternative to statins. METHODS: 24 male rabbits were randomly divided into two groups: normal diet (6 n) and high-cholesterol diet (2% cholesterol, 18 n) for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks, both groups underwent blood sampling and their biochemical markers were measured. Then, all animals in the normal-diet group and three of the high-cholesterol diet group were killed to investigate atheromic plaque in their coronary artery. The 15 remaining rabbits of the high-cholesterol diet group were randomly divided into 3 groups (5 n) after discontinuation of the fatty diet. The first group was not given any treatment, the second received atorvastatin (0.5 mg/kg) orally, and the third received quince leaf extract (50 mg/kg) orally for 12 weeks. At the end of this period, after blood sampling, biopsy of coronary artery was performed for histological study. RESULTS: The results showed that atorvastatin and quince leaf significantly decreased total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, AST, ALT, AP, BUN, and Cr levels compared with the first group of the high-cholesterol diet group (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found between atorvastatin and quince leaf extract groups in biochemical markers and atherosclerotic plaque in coronary artery. CONCLUSION: Atorvastatin and quince leaf extract can effectively prevent the progression of atherosclerosis in coronary arteries. According to the results of this study and also lower toxic effects of herbal medication compared to synthetic medication, leaf extract can be a substitute for statins in treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. The anti-atherosclerotic effect of quince leaf is most likely related to its antioxidant components.   Keywords: Hyperlipidemia, Atherosclerosis, Coronary Arteries, Biochemical Markers, Atheromic Plaque, Atorvastatin, Quince Leaf Extract