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Title: Dietery acai fruit improves cognition in aged rats

item MILLER, MARSHALL - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Fisher, Derek
item CAREY, AMANDA - Simmons College
item Poulose, Shibu
item Shukitt-Hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2013
Publication Date: 11/9/2013
Citation: Miller, M.G., Fisher, D.R., Carey, A.N., Poulose, S.M., Shukitt Hale, B. 2013. Dietery acai fruit improves cognition in aged rats. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings. 2013. Program # 252.04.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Açai is a black-purple fruit (genus Euterpe) cultivated in the Amazon delta and in Brazil (Euterpe oleracea Mart.; EO), as well as Bolivia (Euterpe precatoria Mart.; EP). The fruit’s pulp is known to be rich in polyphenolics that may affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity, oxidant/antioxidant balance, and gene regulation. In previous studies, we have shown the beneficial effects of various berry fruits (blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries) in reversing age-related deficits in behavioral and neuronal function when fed to aged rats. Thus, the present study was carried out to determine if EO or EP, fed in the rat diet at 2% for 8 weeks, would be efficacious in reversing the deleterious effects of aging on cognitive behavior in 19-21 mo old Fischer 344 rats. Both the EO and EP diet improved working memory, relative to controls; however, only the EO diet improved reference memory. When BV2 cells were pretreated with serum collected from the rats and then treated with LPS, serum from EO fed rats reduced nitrite release and serum from both açai-fed groups reduced TNF-a release. Reductions in nitrite and TNF-a release in the cell model were associated with improved water maze performance. Western blots were conducted on BV-2 lysates to measure the levels of two inflammatory markers: inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Treatment of BV-2 cells with serum from acai-supplemented rats resulted in significant decreases in iNOS and COX-2 expression. Protection of memory during aging by dietary açai may result from its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.