Dietary Lycopene Supplementation Improves Cognitive Performances in Tau Transgenic Mice Expressing P301L Mutation via Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and Tau Hyperphosphorylation.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2017 ;57(2):475-482. PMID: 28269786
BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other tauopathies and participates in their development by promoting hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau. Lycopene, as an effective antioxidant, combined with vitamin E seemed to be additive against oxidative stress.
OBJECTIVE: The present study was undertaken to examine whether lycopene or lycopene/vitamin E could exert protective effects on memory deficit and oxidative stress in tau transgenic mice expressing P301L mutation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: P301L transgenic mice were assigned to three groups: P301L group (P301L), P301L+lycopene (Lyc), and P301L+lycopene/vitamin E (Lyc+VE). Age-matched C57BL/6J mice as wild type controls (Con) were used in the present study. Spatial memory was assessed by radial arm while passive memories were evaluated by step-down and step-through tests. Levels of tau phosphorylation were detected by western blot. Oxidative stress biomarkers were measured in the serum using biochemical assay kits.
RESULTS: Compared with the control group, P301L mice displayed significant spatial and passive memory impairments, elevated malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and decreased glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in serum, and increased tau phosphorylation at Thr231/Ser235, Ser262, and Ser396 in brain. Supplementations of lycopene or lycopene/vitamin E could significantly ameliorate the memory deficits, observably decreased MDA concentrations and increased GSH-Px activities, and markedly attenuated tau hyperphosphorylation at multiple AD-related sites.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicated that the combination of lycopene and vitamin E antioxidants acted in a synergistic fashion to bring significant effects against oxidative stress in tauopathies.