Açaí juice attenuates atherosclerosis in ApoE deficient mice through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
Atherosclerosis. 2011 Jun;216(2):327-33. Epub 2011 Feb 24. PMID: 21411096
USDA Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 15 Children's Way, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA; Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 15 Children's Way, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.
OBJECTIVE: Açaí fruit pulp has received much attention because of its high antioxidant capacity and potential anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, athero-protective effects of açaí juice were investigated in apolipoprotein E deficient (apoE(-/-)) mice.
METHODS AND RESULTS: ApoE(-/-) mice were fed AIN-93G diet (CD) or CD formulated to contain 5% freeze-dried açaí juice powder (AJ) for 20 weeks. The mean lesion areas in the aorta for apoE(-/-) mice fed AJ were 58% less (P<0.001) compared to that for CD fed mice. HDL-cholesterol was higher in AJ fed mice. Biomarkers of lipid peroxidation, including F(2)-isoprostanes and isomers of hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids were significantly lower in serum and in liver of AJ fed mice. Expression of the two antioxidant enzyme genes, Gpx3 and Gsr, were significantly up-regulated in the aorta from AJ fed mice. The activity of GPX, GSR and PON1 increased in serum and/or liver of mice fed AJ. In the second experiment, ApoE(-/-) mice were fed CD or AJ for 5 weeks. Serum levels, gene expression and protein levels of the two proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 in the resident macrophages with or without LPS stimulation were lower in mice fed AJ. SEAP reporter assay determined that AJ reduced NF-κB activation.
CONCLUSION: Reducing lipid peroxidation through boosting antioxidant enzymes and inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine production are proposed as major underlying mechanisms for the athero-protective effects of the açaí juice tested in these experimental in vivo models.