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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317509

Research Project: Neurocognition/Neuroscience (Bridging Project)

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Title: Blueberries affect neuroinflammation and cognition differentially depending on individual cognitive baseline status

Author
item Thangthaeng, Nopporn
item Miller, Marshall
item Poulose, Shibu - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Bielinski, Donna - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Fisher, Derek
item Shukitt-hale, Barbara

Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2015
Publication Date: 10/17/2015
Citation: Thangthaeng, N., Miller, M.G., Poulose, S.M., Bielinski, D.F., Fisher, D.R., Shukitt Hale, B. 2015. Blueberries affect neuroinflammation and cognition differentially depending on individual cognitive baseline status. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 2015, Program #767.03.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Aging and neurodegenerative diseases are thought to be the results of prolonged effects of oxidative stress and inflammation. Previously, we have shown that daily supplementation of blueberries (BBs) was able to reverse age-related deficits in behavioral and neuronal function in aged rats. However, it is unclear whether BB will be more beneficial to one subset of the population compared to another, or if the beneficial effects are a global phenomenon where everyone benefits equally. Because there are various degrees of age-related cognitive decline and inflammation status observed in the general population, it is possible that daily BB supplementation would have differential effects dependent on baseline cognitive performance. To examine the effect of individual differences on the efficacy of dietary BB, aged rats (17 mo old) were assessed for cognitive status via the radial arm water maze (RAWM) and divided into good, average, and poor performers based on reference (RM) and working memory (WM) errors. Half of the rats in each cognitive group were then fed a control or a 2% BB diet for 8 weeks, before being re-tested in RAWM. Serum samples were collected pre-diet and at the end of the study to assess inflammation. The control-fed good performers committed more WM and RM errors in the post-test than pre-test (p<0.05), while the BB-fed good performers showed no change. Latency in the RAWM was significantly (p<0.05) reduced in the BB-fed poor performers from pre- to post-test. A subsequent in vitro study using the serum showed that cognitive performance is associated with innate anti-inflammation capability, and BB supplementation further enhanced this capability. Behavioral findings reflect the individual rat’s neuroinflammation status. Based on these findings, daily consumption of BB in rats may reverse some age-related deficits in cognition, as well as preserve function among those with intact cognitive ability, especially in those with increased inflammation and poor cognitive status.