Acai Extract Transiently Upregulates Erythropoietin by Inducing a Renal Hypoxic Condition in Mice

Nutrients. 2020 Feb 19;12(2):533. doi: 10.3390/nu12020533.


Acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart. Palmae, Arecaceae) is a palm plant native to the Brazilian Amazon. It contains many nutrients, such as polyphenols, iron, vitamin E, and unsaturated fatty acids, so in recent years, many of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of acai have been reported. However, the effects of acai on hematopoiesis have not been investigated yet. In the present study, we administered acai extract to mice and evaluated its hematopoietic effects. Acai treatment significantly increased the erythrocytes, hemoglobin, and hematocrit contents compared to controls for four days. Then, we examined the hematopoietic-related markers following a single injection. Acai administration significantly increased the levels of the hematopoietic-related hormone erythropoietin in blood compared to controls and also transiently upregulated the gene expression of Epo in the kidney. Furthermore, in the mice treated with acai extract, the kidneys were positively stained with the hypoxic probe pimonidazole in comparison to the controls. These results demonstrated that acai increases the erythropoietin expression via hypoxic action in the kidney. Acai can be expected to improve motility through hematopoiesis.

Keywords: acai; erythropoiesis; erythropoietin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Erythropoietin / metabolism*
  • Euterpe / chemistry*
  • Hematinics / pharmacology*
  • Hematopoiesis / drug effects
  • Hypoxia / chemically induced*
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Hematinics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Erythropoietin