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Dietary Supplementation with Pomegranates in Alzheimer’s Disease

Transgenic (tg) mice which contain an amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene mutation, develop extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition in the brain, and severe memory and behavioural deficits with age. These mice serve as an important animal model for testing the efficacy of novel drug candidates for the treatment and management of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Several reports have suggested that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of Aβ neurotoxicity in AD. Pomegranates contain very high levels of antioxidants and several medicinal properties that may be useful for improving the quality of life in AD patients.

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In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation of Omani pomegranate extract on the memory, anxiety and learning skills in an AD mouse model containing the double Swedish APP mutation (APPsw/Tg2576).

Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with pomegranates may slow the progression of cognitive and behavioural impairments in AD.

RESEARCH TITLE: Long Term (15 Months) Dietary Supplementation with Pomegranates from Oman Attenuates Cognitive and Behavioural Deficts in a Transgenic Mice Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

COUNTRY: Oman

CONDUCTED BY: Sultan Qaboos University

PUBLISHED ON: Nutrition

RESEACH:

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ABSTRACT

Objective
Transgenic (tg) mice which contain an amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene mutation, develop extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition in the brain, and severe memory and behavioural deficits with age. These mice serve as an important animal model for testing the efficacy of novel drug candidates for the treatment and management of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Several reports have suggested that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of Aβ neurotoxicity in AD. Pomegranates contain very high levels of antioxidants and several medicinal properties that may be useful for improving the quality of life in AD patients. In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation of Omani pomegranate extract on the memory, anxiety and learning skills in an AD mouse model containing the double Swedish APP mutation (APPsw/Tg2576).

Methods
The experimental groups of APP-transgenic mice from the age of 4 months were fed custom-mix diets (pellets) containing 4% pomegranate. We assessed spatial memory and learning ability, psychomotor coordination, and anxiety-related behavior in Tg and wild-type mice at the age of 4-5 months and 18-19 months using the Morris water maze test, rota rod test, elevated plus maze test, and open field test.

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Results
APPsw/Tg2576 mice that were fed a standard chow diet without pomegranates showed significant memory deficits, increased anxiety-related behavior, and severe impairment in spatial learning ability, position discrimination learning ability and motor coordination compared to the wild type mice on the same diet, at the age of 18-19 months In contrast, APPsw/Tg2576 mice that were fed a diet containing 4% pomegranates showed a significant improvements in memory, learning, locomotor function, and anxiety compared to APPsw/Tg2576 mice fed the standard chow diet.

Conclusion
Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with pomegranates may slow the progression of cognitive and behavioural impairments in AD.

RESEARCH SUMMARY:

Transgenic (tg) mice which contain an amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene mutation, develop extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition in the brain, and severe memory and behavioural deficits with age. These mice serve as an important animal model for testing the efficacy of novel drug candidates for the treatment and management of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Several reports have suggested that oxidative stress is the underlying cause of Aβ neurotoxicity in AD. Pomegranates contain very high levels of antioxidants and several medicinal properties that may be useful for improving the quality of life in AD patients. In this study, we investigated the effect of dietary supplementation of Omani pomegranate extract on the memory, anxiety and learning skills in an AD mouse model containing the double Swedish APP mutation (APPsw/Tg2576).Our results suggest that dietary supplementation with pomegranates may slow the progression of cognitive and behavioural impairments in AD.

YEAR: 2014

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