Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Carol T. Windham


Carol T. Windham


Bonita W. Wyse


Pantethine, a precursor of coenzyme A, has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. The enzyme pantetheinase rapidly hydrolyzes pantethine to the vitamin pantothenic acid and the amino thiol cysteamine.

This study was designed to compare the effect of cysteamine and pantothenate supplementation with that of pantethine on hypercholesterolemic rabbits. New Zealand white rabbits were fed a 0.5% cholesterol diet for 5 weeks; treatment groups received only the high cholesterol diet (control), or a high cholesterol diet supplemented with 1% pantethine, or an equimolar amount of pantothenic acid or cystamine (the disulfide of cysteamine). Blood samples were drawn weekly and total serum cholesterol levels analyzed enzymatically. Pantethine and cystamine both significantly reduced serum cholesterol levels (p < 0.05); pantothenic acid had no effect. Separation of serum lipoproteins using a preparative ultracentrifuge showed an increase in very low density, intermediate density and low density lipoproteins.

A second experiment was conducted to compare the effect of cystamine with other small thiols; the protocol was similar to the first experiment with treatment groups consisting of a high cholesterol control, cystamine, cystine or 2,hydroxyethyl disulfide. There was no significant reduction in serum cholesterol levels between treatment groups, although the cystamine supplemented group tended to be lower than the other groups.



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