Effects of olive polyphenols administration on nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the mouse brain

Nutrition. 2013 Apr;29(4):681-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.11.007.


Objective: Polyphenols are chemicals derived from plants known to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. High intake of fruit and vegetables is believed to be beneficial to human health. Various studies have suggested that dietary polyphenols may protect against cancer and cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. Nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are neurotrophins that play key roles in brain cell development, growth, and survival. The aim of this study was to investigate whether or not administration of olive (Olea europaea L.) polyphenols could have an effect on NGF and BDNF content and the expression of their receptors, TrkA and TrkB, respectively, in the mouse brain.

Methods: NGF and BDNF were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. TrkA and TrkB were measured by Western blotting.

Results: We found NGF and BDNF elevation in the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs and a decrease in the frontal cortex and striatum. These data were associated with potentiated expression of TrkA and TrkB in the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs but no differences between groups in the striatum and frontal cortex. Polyphenols did not affect some behavioral mouse parameters associated with stressing situations.

Conclusions: Altogether, this study shows that olive polyphenols in the mouse may increase the levels of NGF and BDNF in crucial areas of the limbic system and olfactory bulbs, which play a key role in learning and memory processes and in the proliferation and migration of endogenous progenitor cells present in the rodent brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Outbred Strains
  • Antioxidants / economics
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements / economics
  • Down-Regulation
  • Food-Processing Industry / economics
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Industrial Waste / analysis
  • Industrial Waste / economics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nerve Growth Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Olea / chemistry*
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / economics
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Polyphenols / economics
  • Polyphenols / metabolism*
  • Receptor, trkA / biosynthesis
  • Receptor, trkA / metabolism
  • Receptor, trkB / biosynthesis
  • Receptor, trkB / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation*


  • Antioxidants
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Industrial Waste
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Receptor, trkB