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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348439

Research Project: Plant Components and Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Relationship between concentrations of lutein and StARD3 among pediatric and geriatric human brain tissue

Author
item Tanpresertsuk, Jirayu - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Li, Binxing - University Of Utah
item Bernstein, Paul - University Of Utah
item Vishwanathan, Rohini - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Johnson, Mary Ann - University Of Georgia
item Poon, Leonard - University Of Georgia
item Johnson, Elizabeth - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2016
Publication Date: 5/20/2016
Citation: Tanpresertsuk, J., Li, B., Bernstein, P.S., Vishwanathan, R., Johnson, M., Poon, L., Johnson, E.J. 2016. Relationship between concentrations of lutein and StARD3 among pediatric and geriatric human brain tissue. PLoS One. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159877.

Interpretive Summary: Lutein, a dietary carotenoid common in fruits and vegetables, selectively accumulates in the human eye and brain. While many studies show evidence of a relationship between lutein in the diet and body tissues (including the brain) and cognitive health, the reason for lutein's selective uptake into human brain tissue is poorly understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cross-sectional relationship between levels of brain lutein and a known binding protein for lutein that is found in the eye among three age groups: infants (1-4 months, n = 10,) older adults (55-86 years, n = 8,) and centenarians (98-105 years, n = 10.) There was a strong relationship in infant brains, which suggests that selective uptake of lutein in early life may have a role in early cognitive development. The relationship remained significant but weaker in older adults and insignificant in centenarians, seven of whom had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These findings suggest that a decrease in or abnormal function of lutein's binding protein in the human brain occurs with aging. Given that this protein is also involved in cholesterol transportation within cells, a process that is affected in cognitive degenerative diseases, the potential protective function of lutein against these diseases remains to be explored.

Technical Abstract: Lutein, a dietary carotenoid, selectively accumulates in human retina and brain. While many epidemiological studies show evidence of a relationship between lutein status and cognitive health, lutein's selective uptake in human brain tissue and its potential function in early neural development and cognitive health have been poorly evaluated at a molecular level. The objective of this study was to evaluate the cross-sectional relationship between concentrations of brain lutein and StARD3 (identified as its binding protein in retinal tissue) among three age groups: infants (1-4 months, n = 10), older adults (55-86 years, n = 8), and centenarians (98-105 years, n = 10). Brain lutein concentrations were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and StARD3 levels were analyzed by Western Blot analysis. The strong relationship in infant brains (r = 0.75, P < 0.001) suggests that lutein has a role in neural development. The relationship remained significant but weaker in older adults (r = 0.51, P < 0.05) and insignificant in centenarians (r = 0.08, P > 0.05), seven of whom had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. These exploratory findings suggest an age-related decrease or abnormality of StARD3 activity in human brain. Given that StARD3 is also involved in cholesterol transportation, a process that is aberrant in neurodegenerative diseases, the potential protective function of lutein against these diseases remains to be explored.