Center of Experimental Morphology

Departamento de Anatomia - Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto

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Grape seed flavanols, but not Port wine, prevent ethanol-induced neuronal lipofuscin formation

Research Area: Uncategorized Year: 2007
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Port wine, Ethanol Lipofuscin, Flavanol, Hippocampal formation, Cerebellum
Journal: Brain Research
Number: 1129 Pages: 72-80
Lipofuscin is an end-product of lipid peroxidation which dramatically increases following ethanol consumption, as we have shown in hippocampal and cerebellar neurons. In this work, we corroborated observations indicating that supplementation of ethanol with 200 mg/l of grape seed flavanols prevents increased lipofuscin formation, an action that has been ascribed to the antioxidant properties of the flavanols. Because wine is an alcoholic beverage naturally rich in flavanols, we decided to study the effect of chronic ingestion of Port wine (PW), which also contains 20% ethanol and approximately 200 mg/l of flavanol oligomers, upon lipofuscin accumulation in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons and in the cerebellar Purkinje cells. Six months old rats were fed with PW and results were compared with those obtained in ethanol-treated groups and pair-fed controls. After 6 months of treatment, the volume of lipofuscin per neuron was estimated using unbiased stereological methods. Treatment with PW resulted in an increase of lipofuscin in all neuronal populations studied when compared to controls and to rats treated with ethanol supplemented with flavanols. No differences were observed when comparisons were made with ethanol drinking rats. We conclude that PW, despite containing 20% ethanol and flavanols, does not prevent ethanol-induced lipofuscin formation as previously found in animals drinking ethanol plus flavanols. The reduced antioxidant capacity of PW might depend on the type and amount of flavanols present and on its content in sugars.

Centro de Morfologia Experimental
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto
Al. Professor Hernâni Monteiro
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