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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Effects of blueberries in prevention of atherosclerosis in apoe knockout mice

item Wu, Xianli
item Ferguson, Matthew
item Wilkes, Samuel
item Nagarajan, Shanmugam

Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2009
Publication Date: 4/1/2009
Publication URL:
Citation: Wu, X., Ferguson, M.E., Wilkes, S.E., Nagarajan, S. 2009. Effects of blueberries in prevention of atherosclerosis in apoe knockout mice [abstract]. FASEB J. 23(1_MeetingAbstracts):723.3.

Interpretive Summary: ApoE knockout mice, commonly used atherosclerotic animal model, were fed standard diet with or without 1% of blueberry powder for 20 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions in mice fed blueberry was reduced by 39% (statistically significant) compared to animals fed only standard diet. Two antioxidant enzymes were found to be significantly increased in blueberry fed animals. Our results indicated that blueberry prevented atherosclerosis in this specific animal model, and antioxidant activity is one of the possible mechanisms.

Technical Abstract: ApoE knockout (ApoE-/-) mice were fed AIN-93G diet (CD) or CD formulated to contain 1% freeze-dried whole wild blueberries (CD1% BB). Mice were sacrificed after 20 weeks on the specified diet. Atherosclerotic lesions in aortic sinus were determined by staining cryosections (10 µm) with Oil Red O. The mean lesion area for ApoE-/- mice fed the CD1% BB was reduced by 39% (P <0.01) compared to CD fed animals. Serum LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels were slightly lower in ApoE-/- mice fed CD1%BB (NS) compared to CD fed animals. Serum paraoxonase 1 activities in serum of CD1%BB animals were higher than that in CD animals (P<0.05). Superoxide dismutase activities in both serum and liver were found to be increased (P<0.05) in CD1%BB-fed animals. Serum total antioxidant capacity measured by ORAC was not different between CD and CD1%BB fed animals, though a slight increase in CD1%BB-fed animals was observed. These results indicated that anti-atherogenic effects of BB are probably independent of changes in serum lipid profile. Furthermore, in addition to directly scavenging free radicals, BB in the diet altered antioxidant status by increasing antioxidant enzymes.

Last Modified: 10/15/2017
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