Tocotrienols exhibit antioxidant and cholesterol-biosynthesis-inhibitory activities and may be of value as antiatherosclerotic agents. The mechanism of their hypolipidemic action involves posttranscriptional suppression of HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) in a manner mimicking the action of putative non-sterol feedback inhibitors. The in vitro cholesterol-biosynthesis-inhibitory and HMGR-suppressive activities in HepG2 cells of an expanded series of benzopyran and tetrahydronaphthalene isosteres and the hypocholesterolemic activity of selected compounds assessed in orally dosed chickens are presented. Preliminary antioxidant data of these compounds have been obtained using cyclic voltammetry and Cu-induced LDL oxidation assays. The farnesyl side chain and the methyl/hydroxy substitution pattern of gamma-tocotrienol deliver a high level of HMGR suppression, unsurpassed by synthetic analogues of the present study. In orally dosed chickens, 8-bromotocotrienol (4o), 2-desmethyltocotrienol (4t), and the tetrahydronaphthalene derivative 35 exhibit a greater degree of LDL cholesterol lowering than the natural tocotrienols.
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