Blueberry supplemented diet: effects on object recognition memory and nuclear factor-kappa B levels in aged rats

Nutr Neurosci. 2004 Apr;7(2):75-83. doi: 10.1080/10284150410001710410.


It has been reported that an antioxidant-rich, blueberry-supplemented rat diet may retard brain aging in the rat. The present study determined whether such supplementation could prevent impaired object recognition memory and elevated levels of the oxidative stress-responsive protein, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) in aged Fischer-344 rats. Twelve aged rats had been fed a 2% blueberry supplemented diet for 4 months prior to testing. Eleven aged rats and twelve young rats had been fed a control diet. The rats were tested for object recognition memory on the visual paired comparison task. With a 1-h delay between training and testing, aged control diet rats performed no better than chance. Young rats and aged blueberry diet rats performed similarly and significantly better than the aged control diet group. Levels of NF-kappaB in five brain regions of the above subjects were determined by western blotting assays. In four regions, aged control diet rats had significantly higher average NF-kappaB levels than young animals on the control diet. In four regions, aged blueberry diet rats had significantly lower levels of NF-kappaB than aged control diet rats. Normalized NF-kappaB levels (averaged across regions and in several individual regions) correlated negatively and significantly with the object memory scores.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Blueberry Plants*
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • NF-kappa B