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Neuromolecular Med. 2016 Sep;18(3):347-63. doi: 10.1007/s12017-016-8420-z. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Effects of Long-Term Rice Bran Extract Supplementation on Survival, Cognition and Brain Mitochondrial Function in Aged NMRI Mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Goethe-University, Biozentrum Niederursel, Max-von-Laue-Straße 9, 60438, Frankfurt, Germany.
Institute of Biological Chemistry and Nutrition, University of Hohenheim, Garbenstraße 28, 70599, Stuttgart, Germany.
Centre for Biomolecular Interactions Bremen, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
Centre for Environmental Research and Sustainable Technology, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
Department of Pharmacology, Goethe-University, Biozentrum Niederursel, Max-von-Laue-Straße 9, 60438, Frankfurt, Germany.
Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Giessen, Wilhelmstrasse 20, 35392, Giessen, Germany.


Aging represents a major risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD). As mitochondrial dysfunction plays an important role in brain aging and occurs early in the development of AD, the prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction might help to slow brain aging and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Rice bran extract (RBE) contains high concentrations of vitamin E congeners and γ-oryzanol. We have previously shown that RBE increased mitochondrial function and protected from mitochondrial dysfunction in vitro and in short-term in vivo feeding studies. To mimic the use of RBE as food additive, we have now investigated the effects of a long-term (6 months) feeding of RBE on survival, behavior and brain mitochondrial function in aged NMRI mice. RBE administration significantly increased survival and performance of aged NMRI mice in the passive avoidance and Y-maze test. Brain mitochondrial dysfunction found in aged mice was ameliorated after RBE administration. Furthermore, data from mRNA and protein expression studies revealed an up-regulation of mitochondrial proteins in RBE-fed mice, suggesting an increase in mitochondrial content which is mediated by a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1α)-dependent mechanism. Our findings suggest that a long-term treatment with a nutraceutical containing RBE could be useful for slowing down brain aging and thereby delaying or even preventing AD.


Brain aging; Mitochondria; NMRI mice; Nutrition; PGC1α; Rice bran extract

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