Neuroprotective effect of Sapucaia nuts (Lecythis pisonis)on rats fed with high-fat diet

Marcos Vidal Martins, Izabela Maria Montezano de Carvalho, Mônica Maria Magalhães Caetano, Renata Celi Lopes Toledo, Antônio Avelar Xavier, José Humberto de Queiroz


Background: Lecythis pisonis Cambess is commonly known as “castanha de sapucaia” in Brazil. Chemical composition studies revealed that this nut is an excellent source of anti-oxidant minerals and of essential lipids.

Objective: The aim of the present study is to assess the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of Lecythis pisonis Cambess on the brain tissue of Wistar rats.

Material and methods: The animals were divided in four experimental groups (n = 6), total of forty-eight rats. Treatments included the standard diet (AIN-93G) and high-fat food, supplemented with Sapucaianut from 14 to 28 days. The gene expression markers TNF-α, NFkB, ZnSOD
and HSP-72 were defined through reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). The anti-oxidant effect was assessed through the thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and the measurement of the activity performed by superoxide dismutase enzymes.

Results: Accordingly, the gene expression of the inflammatory markers NFkB (p65) and TNF-αwas lower in rats fed on diets supplemented with “sapucaia”, and they presented significant difference in the Tukey test (p < 0.05). The heat-shock HSP-72 protein and the ZnSOD enzyme raised the gene expression and showed significant statistical difference (p < 0.05) in both groups fed on Sapucaia nut-based diet.

Conclusion: Thus, the nutritional properties of the Sapucaia nuts perform important neuroprotective activities because they modulated the anti-oxidant activity and the brain tissue inflammatory process in the assessed animals.

Palabras clave

Brain tissue. Oxidative stress. Inflammation. Gene expression.

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