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.
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