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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2012 Jan;22(1):72-80. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2010.04.011. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Bilberry anthocyanin-rich extract alters expression of genes related to atherosclerosis development in aorta of apo E-deficient mice.

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Unité de Nutrition Humaine UMR1019, INRA, Centre de Recherche de Clermont-Ferrand/Theix, Groupe "Micronutriments, Métabolisme et Santé (MiMeS)", 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle, France.


Intake of anthocyanin-rich foods has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. We recently reported that a nutritional supplementation with a bilberry anthocyanin-rich extract (BE) attenuates atherosclerotic lesion development in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE⁻/⁻) mice. However, the mechanism(s) of their preventive action are not completely understood. Anthocyanins may alter mRNA levels of genes related to atherosclerosis in cultured macrophages and endothelial cells, but in vivo studies remain scarce. The aim of the present study was to explore the in vivo mechanisms of action of the same bilberry extract, administered by supplementation at a nutritional level, in the aorta of apo E⁻/⁻ mice using a global transcriptomic approach. This study focused on the early stage of atherosclerosis development for better assessment of BE action on initiation mechanisms of this pathology. After a two week period, plasma lipid and antioxidant capacity were evaluated and the global genomic analysis was carried out using pangenomic microarrays. BE supplementation significantly improved hypercholesterolemia whereas the plasmatic antioxidant status remained unchanged. Nutrigenomic analysis identified 1261 genes which expression was modulated by BE in the aorta. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that these genes are implicated in different cellular processes such as oxidative stress, inflammation, transendothelial migration and angiogenesis, processes associated with atherosclerosis development/protection. Some of the most significantly down-regulated genes included genes coding for AOX1, CYP2E1 or TXNIP implicated in the regulation of oxidative stress, JAM-A coding for adhesion molecules or VEGFR2 implicate in regulation of angiogenesis. Other genes were up-regulated, such as CRB3, CLDN14 or CDH4 potentially associated with increased cell-cell adhesion and decreased paracellular permeability. These results provide a global integrated view of the mechanisms involved in the preventive action of bilberry anthocyanin-rich extract against atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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