Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of inflammatory bowel disease. Consumption of aronia berry inhibits T cell transfer colitis, but the antioxidant mechanisms pertinent to immune function are unclear. We hypothesized that aronia berry consumption could inhibit inflammation by modulating the antioxidant function of immunocytes and gastrointestinal tissues. Colitis was induced in recombinase activating gene-1 deficient (Rag1-/-) mice injected with syngeneic CD4+CD62L+ naïve T cells. Concurrent with transfer, mice consumed either 4.5% w/w aronia berry-supplemented or a control diet for five weeks. Aronia berry inhibited intestinal inflammation evidenced by lower colon weight/length ratios, 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) uptake, mRNA expressions of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in the colon. Aronia berry also suppressed systemic inflammation evidenced by lower FDG uptake in the spleen, liver, and lung. Colitis induced increased colon malondialdehyde (MDA), decreased colon glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, reduced glutathione (rGSH) level, and suppressed expression of antioxidant enzymes in the colon and mesenteric lymph node (MLN). Aronia berry upregulated expression of antioxidant enzymes, prevented colitis-associated depletion of rGSH, and maintained GPx activity. Moreover, aronia berry modulated mitochondria-specific antioxidant activity and decreased splenic mitochondrial H2O2 production in colitic mice. Thus, aronia berry consumption inhibits oxidative stress in the colon during T cell transfer colitis because of its multifaceted antioxidant function in both the cytosol and mitochondria of immunocytes.
Keywords: adoptive transfer colitis; aronia berry; inflammatory bowel disease; oxidative stress.