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Puyallup, WA, United States

Poulose S.M.,Tufts University | Bielinski D.F.,Tufts University | Carey A.,Tufts University | Schauss A.G.,AIBMR Life Science Inc. | Shukitt-Hale B.,Tufts University
Nutritional Neuroscience | Year: 2016

Objective: Açaí (Euterpe spp.), an exotic palm fruit, has recently emerged as a promising source of natural antioxidants with wide pharmacological and nutritional value. In this study, two different species of açaí pulp extracts, naturally grown in two distinct regions of the Amazon, namely, Euterpe oleracea Mart. (habitat: Brazilian floodplains of the Amazon) and Euterpe precatoria Mart. (habitat: Bolivian Amazon), were studied for their effects on brain health and cognition. Methods: Neurochemical analyses were performed in critical brain regions associated with memory and cognition of 19-month-old açaí-fed rats, in whom the cognitive benefits of açaí had been established. Results: Results indicated significant reductions (P< 0.05) in prooxidant NADPH-oxidoreductase-2 (NOX2) and proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB in açaí-fed rats. Measurement of Nrf2 expression, a transcription factor for antioxidant enzymes, and a possible link between oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and autophagy mechanisms, indicated significant overexpression (P<0.005) in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of the açaí-fed rats. Furthermore, significant activation of endogenous antioxidant enzymes GST and SOD were also observed in the açaí-fed animals when compared to control. Analysis of autophagy markers such as p62, phospho-mTOR, beclin1 and MAP1B-LC3 revealed differential expression in frontal cortex and hippocampus, mostly indicating an upregulation in the açaí-fed rats. Discussion: In general, results were more profound for EP than EO in hippocampus as well as frontal cortex. Therefore, an açaí-enriched diet could possibly modulate Nrf2, which is known to modulate the intracellular redox status, thereby regulating the ubiquitin-proteosomal pathway, ultimately affecting cognitive function in the aging brain. © Taylor & Francis 2016 Source


Sun X.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Seeberger J.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Alberico T.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Wang C.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | And 3 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology | Year: 2010

Reducing oxidative damage is thought to be an effective aging intervention. Açai, a fruit indigenous to the Amazon, is rich in phytochemicals that possesses high anti-oxidant activities, and has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-cardiovascular disease properties. However, little is known about its potential anti-aging properties especially at the organismal level. Here we evaluated the effect of açai pulp on modulating lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. We found that açai supplementation at 2% in the food increased the lifespan of female flies fed a high fat diet compared to the non-supplemented control. We measured transcript changes induced by açai for age-related genes. Although transcript levels of most genes tested were not altered, açai increased the transcript level of l(2)efl, a small heat-shock-related protein, and two detoxification genes, GstD1 and MtnA, while decreasing the transcript level of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck), a key gene involved in gluconeogenesis. Furthermore, açai increased the lifespan of oxidative stressed females caused by sod1 RNAi. This suggests that açai improves survival of flies fed a high fat diet through activation of stress response pathways and suppression of Pepck expression. Açai has the potential to antagonize the detrimental effect of fat in the diet and alleviate oxidative stress in aging. Source


Kang J.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Xie C.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Li Z.,Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry | Nagarajan S.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2011

Five flavonoids, (2S,3S)-dihyrokaempferol 3-O-β-d-glucoside (1) and its isomer (2R,3R)-dihydrokaempferol 3-O-β-d-glucoside (2) , isovitexin (3), velutin (4) and 5,4′-dihydroxy-7,3′,5′-trimethoxyflavone (5), were isolated from acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp. The structures of these compounds were elucidated based upon spectroscopic and chemical analyses. To our knowledge, compounds 1, 2, 4 and 5 were identified from acai pulp for the first time. The in vitro antioxidant activities of these compounds were evaluated by the oxygen radial absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. The ORAC values varied distinctly (4458.0-22404.5 μmol Trolox equivalent (TE)/g) from 5,4′-dihydroxy-7,3′,5′-trimethoxyflavone (5) to isovitexin (3) and were affected by the numbers/positions of hydroxyl groups, substitute groups, as well as stereo configuration. The anti-inflammatory effects of these compounds were screened by the secreted embryonic alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) reporter assay, which is designed to measure NF-κB activation. Velutin (4) was found to dose-dependently inhibit SEAP secretion in RAW-blue cells induced by LPS, with an IC50 value of 2.0 μM. Velutin (4) also inhibited SEAP secretion induced by oxidised LDL, indicating potential athero-protective effects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Poulose S.M.,Tufts University | Fisher D.R.,Tufts University | Bielinski D.F.,Tufts University | Gomes S.M.,Tufts University | And 3 more authors.
Nutrition | Year: 2014

Objectives: Oxidative damage to lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in the brain often causes progressive neuronal degeneration and death that are the focal traits of chronic and acute pathologies, including those involving cognitive decline. The aim of this study was to investigate the specific effects of both Euterpe oleracea and Euterpe precatoria açaí fruit pulp on restoring stressor-induced calcium dysregulation, stunted growth of basal dendrites, and autophagy inhibition using embryonic hippocampal and HT22 hippocampal neurons. Methods: Water-soluble whole fruit pulp extracts from two açaí species were applied to rat primary neurons and HT22 hippocampal neurons with varied time and concentrations. Recovery of neurons from dopamine-induced Ca2+ dysregulation was measured by live cell imaging using fluorescent microscopy. The effect of açaí fruit pulp extracts on neurons following chemically-induced autophagy inhibition was measured using both immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical techniques. Results: It has been postulated that at least part of the loss of cognitive function in aging may depend on a dysregulation in calcium ion (Ca2+) homeostasis and a loss of autophagy function in the brain, which affects numerous signaling pathways and alters protein homeostasis. In the present study, polyphenol-rich fruit pulp extracts from two species of açaí, Euterpe precatoria and Euterpe oleracea, when applied to rat hippocampal primary neuronal cells (E18), caused a significant (P<0.05) recovery of depolarized brain cells from dopamine-induced Ca2+ influx. Autophagy, a protein homeostasis mechanism in brain, when blocked by known inhibitors such as bafilomycin A1 or wortmannin, caused a significant reduction in the growth of primary basal dendrites in rodent primary hippocampal neurons and significant accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins in mouse HT22 hippocampal neurons in culture. However, pretreatment with açaí extracts up to 1mg/mL significantly increased the length of basal dendrites and attenuated the inhibitor-induced autophagy dysfunction. Açaí extracts activated the phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin, increased the turnover of autophagosomes and MAP1 B LC3-II, and decreased accumulation of LC3-ubiquitin binding P62/SQSTM1. Conclusion: Although the polyphenol profile of Euterpe precatoria showed substantially higher concentrations of major flavonoids han Euterpe oleracea, the relative effects were essentially similar for both species. The study adds to growing evidence that supports the putative health effects of açaí fruit species on brain cells. © 2014. Source


Kang J.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Li Z.,Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry | Wu T.,Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry | Jensen G.S.,NIS Labs | And 2 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2010

Acai fruit (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) has been demonstrated to exhibit extremely high anti-oxidant capacity. Seven major flavonoids were isolated from freeze-dried acai pulp by various chromatographic methods. Their structures were elucidated as orientin (1), homoorientin (2), vitexin (3), luteolin (4), chrysoeriol (5), quercetin (6), and dihydrokaempferol (7) by NMR, MS and compared with the reported literature. Compounds 3 and 6 were reported from acai pulp for the first time. Anti-oxidant capacities of these flavonoids were evaluated by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, cell-based anti-oxidant protection (CAP-e) assay and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells (ROS PMN assay). ORAC values varied distinctly (1420-14,800 μmol TE/g) among the seven compounds based on numbers and positions of hydroxyl groups and/or other substitute groups. The ORAC values of aglycones are generally higher than that of glycosides. CAP-e results indicated that only three compounds (4, 6 and 7) could enter the cytosol and contribute to the reduction of oxidative damage within the cell. The ROS PMN assay showed that five compounds (2-3 and 5-7) demonstrated exceptional effects by reducing ROS formation in PMN cells, which produced high amounts of ROS under oxidative stress. In evaluating the anti-oxidant capacity of natural products, combining both chemical and cell-based assays will provide more comprehensive understanding of anti-oxidant effects and potential biological relevance. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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