Protective effects of bilberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus L.) extract against endotoxin-induced uveitis in mice

J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 28;58(8):4731-6. doi: 10.1021/jf904572a.


Endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU), a useful animal model of ocular inflammation, is induced by injection of lipopolysacharide (LPS). These experiments showed that the nitric oxide (NO) level significantly increased in the whole eye homogenate of BALB/C mice 24 h after footpad injection of LPS at a dosage of 100 mg/mouse. However, the elevated NO level was significantly reduced by oral administration of bilberry extract (containing 42.04% anthocyanins) at dosages of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg/day for 5 days before the LPS injection. In addition, bilberry extract decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) level and increased oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) level, glutathione (GSH) level, vitamin C level, and total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities. Moreover, bilberry extract increased expression of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and GPx mRNA. Taken together, bilberry extract showed protective effects against EIU, whereas the effects of bilberry extract (100 and 200 mg/kg/day, 5 days) were dose-dependent. In conclusion, these results provide new evidence to elucidate the beneficial effects of bilberry extract on eye health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Uveitis / chemically induced
  • Uveitis / prevention & control*
  • Vaccinium myrtillus / chemistry*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Plant Extracts