Dietary supplementation with blueberry extract improves survival of transplanted dopamine neurons

Nutr Neurosci. Oct-Dec 2006;9(5-6):251-8. doi: 10.1080/10284150601086134.

Abstract

The exact mechanisms contributing to poor neuronal survival in cell transplantation paradigms for Parkinson's disease (PD) are unknown. However, transplantation-induced host immune response, inflammation, and subsequent oxidative stress are likely contributors to cell death since dopamine (DA) neurons are exquisitely sensitive to oxidative damage. Multiple studies have attempted to improve cell survival by treating transplant material with antioxidant and antiinflammatory compounds, whereas far fewer studies have attempted to modify the host environment to reduce these threats. Flavonoids, phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. For example, supplementation with dietary blueberry extract (BBE) prevents oxidative stress-associated impairment of striatal motor function during aging and restores lost motor function in aged rats. We hypothesized that dietary supplementation of rodent diets with BBE would improve the survival of embryonic DA neurons transplanted into the unilaterally DA-depleted striatum. Inclusion of 2% BBE in a custom chow diet significantly increased the survival of implanted DA neurons and ameliorated rotational behavior asymmetries as compared to transplanted animals consuming a standard diet. These findings provide support for the potential of dietary phytochemicals as an easily administered and well-tolerated therapy that can be used to improve the effectiveness of DA neuron replacement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blueberry Plants*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons / transplantation*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Plant Extracts
  • Dopamine