Açaí (Euterpe oleraceae Mart.) berry extract exerts neuroprotective effects against β-amyloid exposure in vitro

Neurosci Lett. 2013 Nov 27;556:221-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.10.027. Epub 2013 Oct 22.


The native South American palm açaí berry (Euterpe oleraceae Mart.) has high polyphenolic and antioxidant levels. This study examined whether açaí berry extract afforded protection against β-amyloid (Aβ)-mediated loss of cell viability and oxidative stress associated with anti-fibrillar effects. PC12 cells were exposed to either Aβ1-42, Aβ25-35 or tert butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP), alone or in the presence of açaí extract (0.5-50μg/ml). Thioflavin T (ThT) binding assay and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine effects of açaí extract on Aβ1-42 fibril morphology and compared to açaí phenolics gallic acid, cyanidin rutinoside and cyanidin glucoside. Exposure to Aβ1-42, Aβ25-35 or t-BHP decreased PC12 cell viability. Pretreatment with açaí extract significantly improved cell viability following Aβ1-42 exposure, however Aβ25-35 or t-BHP-mediated viability loss was unaltered. Açaí extract inhibited ThT fluorescence and disrupted Aβ1-42 fibril and aggregate morphology. In comparison with other phenolics, açaí was most effective at inhibiting Aβ1-42 aggregation. Inhibition of β-amyloid aggregation may underlie a neuroprotective effect of açaí.

Keywords: Amyloid-β; Açaí; Cyanidin glucoside; Cyanidin rutinoside; Gallic acid; Oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Amyloid / toxicity
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology
  • Arecaceae / chemistry*
  • Glucosides / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Oxidants / toxicity
  • PC12 Cells
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / chemistry
  • Rats
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide / toxicity


  • Amyloid
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Anthocyanins
  • Glucosides
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Oxidants
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • amyloid beta-protein (25-36)
  • cyanidin-3-O-beta-glucopyranoside
  • tert-Butylhydroperoxide
  • cyanidin 3-rutinoside