Main content area

Purple sweet potato color protects against high-fat diet-induced cognitive deficits through AMPK-mediated autophagy in mouse hippocampus

Zhuang, Juan, Lu, Jun, Wang, Xin, Wang, Xinfeng, Hu, Weicheng, Hong, Fashui, Zhao, Xiang-xiang, Zheng, Yuan-lin
The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 2019 v.65 pp. 35-45
AMP-activated protein kinase, animal disease models, anthocyanins, apoptosis, autophagy, cognition, cognitive disorders, color, high fat diet, hippocampus, insulin resistance, malondialdehyde, memory disorders, metformin, mice, neurons, neuroprotective effect, obesity, public health, reactive oxygen species, sweet potatoes
Prevention of obesity-induced cognitive decline is an important public health goal. Purple sweet potato color (PSPC), a class of naturally occurring anthocyanins, has beneficial potentials including antioxidant and neuroprotective activity. Evidence shows that anthocyanins can activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a critical mediator of autophagy induction. This study investigated whether PSPC could improve cognitive function through regulating AMPK/autophagy signaling in HFD-fed obese mice. Our results showed that PSPC significantly ameliorated obesity, peripheral insulin resistance and memory impairment in HFD-fed mice. Moreover, enhanced autophagy was observed, along with the decreased levels of protein carbonyls, malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the hippocampus of HFD-fed mice due to PSPC administration. PSPC also promoted hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and neuron survival in HFD-fed mouse. These improvements were mediated, at least in part, by the activation of AMPK, which was confirmed by metformin treatment. It is concluded that PSPC has great potential to improve cognitive function in HFD-fed mice via AMPK activation that restores autophagy and protects against hippocampal apoptosis.