Neuroprotective effects of wild blueberries and sea cucumber extracts

Aryal, Sunisha (2022) Neuroprotective effects of wild blueberries and sea cucumber extracts. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Neurodegenerative diseases involve gradual loss of functional neurons leading to cell death. In Parkinson's disease (PD) for instance, there is a loss of dopaminergic neurons, with corresponding bradykinesia, tremor at rest, and rigidity. Idiopathic factors such as increased oxidative stress, glial activation, and mitochondrial changes also contribute to PD. Polyphenols present in wild blueberries and saponins in sea cucumbers have been reported to exert neuroprotective effects. To explore the neuroprotective effects of blueberries in C57BL/6 mice, the lipophilic neurotoxin MPTP was administered subcutaneously, and behavioural tests and relevant protein measurements were carried out. Compared to MPTP-treated mice given a normal diet, MPTP-treated mice given a 5% blueberry enriched diet showed higher tyrosine hydroxylase levels in the midbrain and cortex. Furthermore, there were no differences in behaviour across treatment as measured in the rotarod, open field, or light/dark box. Likewise, to study neuroprotective effects of sea cucumber and aqueous blueberry studies were conducted in cell cultures. Substantia nigra (SN), rat neocortical (RNC), and C57BL/6 mixed cultures were treated with/without 100 μM glutamate or 100 ng/mL alpha-synuclein for 24 hours with/without the extracts. The sea cucumber extracts with glutamate exposure showed higher cell counts in SN and RNC cells; the sea cucumber + aqueous blueberry showed higher cell counts in RNC and mixed culture. Overall, wild blueberries, as well as sea cucumber extracts, possess neuroprotective properties.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15442
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-142).
Keywords: neuroprotection, blueberry, sea cucumber, MPTP, antioxidant
Department(s): Pharmacy, School of
Date: March 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Medical Subject Heading: Neurodegenerative Diseases; Neuroprotective Agents; Blueberry Plants; Sea Cucumbers; 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine

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