Neuroprotective Effects of Pomegranate Peel Extract after Chronic Infusion with Amyloid-β Peptide in Mice.
PLoS One. 2016 ;11(11):e0166123. Epub 2016 Nov 9. PMID: 27829013
Maressa Caldeira Morzelle
Alzheimer's disease is a chronic and degenerative condition that had no treatment until recently. The current therapeutic strategies reduce progression of the disease but are expensive and commonly cause side effects that are uncomfortable for treated patients. Functional foods to prevent and/or treat many conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, represent a promising field of study currently gaining attention. To this end, here we demonstrate the effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum) peel extract (PPE) regarding spatial memory, biomarkers of neuroplasticity, oxidative stress and inflammation in a mouse model of neurodegeneration. Male C57Bl/6 mice were chronically infused for 35 days with amyloid-β peptide 1-42 (Aβ) or vehicle (control) using mini-osmotic pumps. Another group, also infused with Aβ, was treated with PPE (p.o.- βA+PPE, 800 mg/kg/day). Spatial memory was evaluated in the Barnes maze. Animals treated with PPE and in the control group exhibited a reduction in failure to findthe escape box, a finding that was not observed in the Aβ group. The consumption of PPE reduced amyloid plaque density, increased the expression of neurotrophin BDNF and reduced the activity of acetylcholinesterase enzyme. A reduction in lipid peroxidation and in the concentration of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α was also observed in the PPE group. No hepatic lesions were observed in animals treated with PPE. In conclusion, administration of pomegranate peel extract has neuroprotective effects involving multiple mechanisms to prevent establishment and progression of the neurodegenerative process induced by infusion with amyloid-β peptide in mice.