Jaboticaba berry peel intake prevents insulin-resistance-induced tau phosphorylation in mice

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Abstract

The hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau (tau) in the hippocampus can be caused by central and peripheral insulin resistance and these alterations are related to the development of tauopathies, such as Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we used a high-fat diet to induce obesity and insulin resistance in adult Swiss mice and checked whether supplementation with Myrciaria jaboticaba berry peel for 10 weeks could improve insulin sensitivity, learning/memory performance, and prevent tau phosphorylation in the hippocampus. Furthermore, adipocytokines, inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress were assessed. Myrciaria jaboticaba peel has phenolic compounds (e.g., cyanidin, ellagic acid), dietary fiber and carotenoids, which contribute to great antioxidant capacity. Supplementation of the high-fat diet with 4% M. jaboticaba peel prevented fat weight gain and reduced peripheral insulin resistance. The treated group also showed lower tau phosphorylation in the hippocampus corroborating better learning/memory performance in the Morris water maze test. Maintenance of neuronal viability, lower levels of hippocampal inflammatory markers, and improved brain antioxidant defenses were also related to the consumption of M. jaboticaba peel. These findings contribute to a better understanding of how a high-fat diet supplemented with jaboticaba berry peel counteracts the impairment of cognitive functions caused by high-fat diet intake and diet-induced insulin resistance.

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