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Neurochem Int. 2010 Feb;56(3):424-30. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2009.11.016. Epub 2009 Nov 24.

Purple sweet potato color suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced acute inflammatory response in mouse brain.

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Key Laboratory for Biotechnology on Medicinal Plants of Jiangsu Province, School of Life Science, Xuzhou Normal University, No 101 Shanghai Road, Xuzhou 221116, Jiangsu Province, PR China.


The neuroprotective effects of purple sweet potato color (PSPC), which is natural anthocyanin food colors, have been investigated in mice treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In behavioral tests, oral administration of PSPC could significantly reverse the impairment of motor and exploration behavior induced by LPS in the open field tasks, and also improve learning and memory ability in step-through tests. Western blot analysis indicated that PSPC significantly suppressed LPS-induced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthases (iNOS) expression in mouse brain. PSPC also markedly decreased the overproduction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in LPS-stimulated mouse brain. Mechanistically, PSPC strongly inhibited LPS-induced phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) expression and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation. Taken together, these data suggest that PSPC may be useful for mitigating inflammatory brain diseases by the inhibition of proinflammatory molecule production, at least in part, through blocking ERK, JNK and NF-kappaB signaling.

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