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Food Funct. 2014 Aug;5(8):1785-94. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60588d.

Blueberry polyphenols prevent cardiomyocyte death by preventing calpain activation and oxidative stress.

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Heart Failure Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, R2035, St. Boniface Research Centre, 351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaR2H 2A6.


The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of an aqueous wild blueberry extract and five wild blueberry polyphenol fractions on an in vitro model of heart disease. Adult rat cardiomyocytes were pretreated with extract and fractions, and then exposed to norepinephrine (NE). Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, cell death, oxidative stress, apoptosis and cardiomyocyte contractile function as well as the activities of calpain, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were measured in cardiomyocytes treated with and without NE and blueberry fraction (BF). Four of five blueberry fractions prevented cell death and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy induced by NE. Total phenolic fraction was used for all further analysis. The NE-induced increase in oxidative stress, nuclear condensation, calpain activity and lowering of SOD and CAT activities were prevented upon pretreatment with BF. Reduced contractile function was also significantly improved with BF pretreatment. Blueberry polyphenols prevent NE-induced adult cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and cell death. The protective effects of BF may be in part attributed to a reduction in calpain activity and oxidative stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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