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Neurodegener Dis. 2014;13(2-3):131-4. doi: 10.1159/000355461. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Employing Alzheimer disease animal models for translational research: focus on dietary components.

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Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.



Translational research needs valid animal models of disease to discover new pathogenetic aspects and treatments. In Alzheimer's disease (AD), transgenic models are of great value for AD research and drug testing.


It was the aim of this study to analyze the power of dietary polyphenols against neurodegeneration by investigating the effects of oleuropein aglycone (OLE), the main phenol in the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a key component of the Mediterranean diet (MD), in a mouse model of amyloid-β deposition.


TgCRND8 mice (3.5 months old), expressing the mutant KM670/671NL+V717F h-βAPP695 transgene, and wild-type (wt) mice were used to study in vivo the effects of an 8-week dietary supplementation with OLE (50 mg/kg of diet) [Grossi et al: PLoS One 2013;8:e71702], following the European Communities Council Directive 86/609 (DL 116/92) and National Guidelines (permit number: 283/2012-B).


OLE administration ameliorates memory dysfunction, raises a significant autophagic response in the cortex and promotes the proliferation of newborn cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus.


Our findings support the beneficial effects of EVOO and highlight the possibility that continuous intake of high doses of OLE, both as a nutraceutical or as a food integrator, may prevent/delay the appearance of AD and reduce the severity of its symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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