Biology Dept. features talk April 2, 2010 by Collin McGill on the anti-neuroinflammatory agents in the Alaska bog blueberry

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Friday, April 2, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building (CPISB), Room 120

The Biology Department is pleased to have as our speaker Colin McGill, who will present his thesis, Biologically Relevant Secondary Metabolites of Vaccinium uliginosum: Bioassay-Directed Identification of  Anti-Neuroinflammatory Agents in the Alaska Bog Blueberry.

Dietary blueberry supplementation has demonstrated numerous health benefits, including improved learning and memory in aging and neurodegenerative models, neuro protection from ischemic events, anti-diabetic properties and modulation of multiple inflammatory cascades.

Despite previous research on antioxidant components prevalent in blueberries, no adequate explanation for a molecular mechanism for the benefits of blueberry supplementation has been proposed.

Vaccinium uliginosum, the Alaska bog blueberry, possesses higher concentrations of antioxidant components than commercial varietals, and exhibits a greater oxygen radical scavenging capacity, making it an excellent candidate for the identification of biologically relevant secondary metabolites.

An approach of bioassay-directed natural products identification was utilized to identify compounds in the Alaska bog blueberry responsible for the inhibition of both a magnesium-dependent neutral sphingomyelinase and NADPH oxidase in TNF-α-induced SH-SY5Y human neuroblastomas.

The identification of these compounds in the Alaska bog blueberry provides new explanations to the benefits of blueberry consumption and offers new avenues of research for nutraceutical treatment of neuroinflammation.

Parking on the UAA campus is free on Fridays. For more information, contact Elizabeth Winfree at (907) 786-4780.

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