|NOPPORN, THANGTHAENG - Simmons College|
|MILLER, MARSHALL - Duke University|
|POULOSE, SHIBU - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University|
Submitted to: Journal of Gerontology Biological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2019
Publication Date: 2/17/2019
Citation: Shukitt Hale, B., Nopporn, T., Miller, M.G., Poulose, S.M., Fisher, D.R. 2019. Blueberries improve neuroinflammation and cognition differentially depending on individual cognitive baseline status. Journal of Gerontology Biological Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz048.
Interpretive Summary: Daily supplementation of blueberries (BBs) reverses the loss of brain function in aged rats. However, since aged rats differ in the extent of brain dysfunction (as do aged humans), we sought to know whether BB can preserve function in aged rats that show little or no dysfunction. To examine this, aged rats were assessed for their ability to perform in a water maze and divided into three groups: good, average, and poor performers. Half of the rats in each group were then fed a control or a 2% BB diet for 8 weeks, followed by re-testing. Poor performers were seen to improve their maze performance following the BB diet, while good performers showed no change after being fed with BB, unlike the control-fed good performers, whose performance declined after the 8-week period. Therefore, eating BB may not only reverse age-related brain dysfunction but may also preserve function among those whose brain function is still intact.
Technical Abstract: Daily supplementation of blueberries (BBs) reverses age-related deficits in behavior in aged rats. However, it is unknown whether BB is more beneficial to one subset of the population dependent on baseline cognitive performance and inflammation status. To examine the effect of individual differences on the efficacy of BB, aged rats (17 mo old) were assessed for cognition in the radial arm water maze (RAWM) and divided into good, average, and poor performers based on errors. Half of the rats in each cognitive group were then fed a control or a 2% BB diet for 8 weeks, before re-testing. Serum samples were collected pre-diet and post-diet to assess inflammation. Latency in the RAWM was significantly (p<0.05) reduced in the BB-fed poor performers, and preserved in the BB-fed good performers. The control-fed good performers committed more working and reference memory errors in the post-test than pre-test (p<0.05), while the BB-fed good performers showed no change. An in vitro study using the serum showed that BB supplementation attenuated LPS-induced nitrite and TNF-alpha, and cognitive performance was associated with innate anti-inflammation. capability. Therefore, consumption of BB may reverse some age-related deficits in cognition, as well as preserve function among those with intact cognitive ability.