Issue 8, 2021

Stimulatory effects of (−)-epicatechin and its enantiomer (+)-epicatechin on mouse frontal cortex neurogenesis markers and short-term memory: proof of concept

Abstract

Consumption of (−)-epicatechin (Epi), a cacao flavanol improves cognition. The aim was to compare the effects of (−)-Epi or its stereoisomer (+)-Epi on mouse frontal cortex-dependent short-term working memory and modulators of neurogenesis. Three-month-old male mice (n = 7 per group) were provided by gavage either water (vehicle; Veh), (−)-Epi, at 1 mg kg−1 or (+)-Epi at 0.1 mg per kg of body weight for 15 days. After treatment, spontaneous alternation was evaluated by Y-maze. Brain frontal cortex was isolated for nitrate/nitrite measurements, Western blotting for nerve growth factor (NGF), microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2), endothelial and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (eNOS and nNOS) and immunohistochemistry for neuronal specific protein (NeuN), doublecortin (DCX), capillary (CD31) and neurofilaments (NF200). Results demonstrate the stimulatory capacity of (−)-Epi and (+)-Epi on markers of neuronal proliferation as per increases in immunoreactive cells for NeuN (74 and 120% respectively), DCX (70 and 124%) as well as in NGF (34.4, 63.6%) and MAP2 (41.8, 63.8%). Capillary density yielded significant increases with (−)-Epi (∼80%) vs. (+)-Epi (∼160%). CD31 protein levels increased with (−)-Epi (∼70%) and (+)-Epi (∼140%). Effects correlated with nitrate/nitrite stimulation by (–)-Epi and (+)-Epi (110.2, 246.5%) and enhanced eNOS phosphorylation (Ser1177) with (–)-Epi and (+)-Epi (21.4, 41.2%) while nNOS phosphorylation only increased with (+)-Epi (18%). Neurofilament staining was increased in (–)-Epi by 135.6 and 84% with (+)-Epi. NF200 increased with (–)-Epi (116%) vs. (+)-Epi (84.5%). Frontal cortex-dependent short-term spatial working improved with (–)-Epi and (+)-Epi (15, 13%). In conclusion, results suggest that both enantiomers, but more effectively (+)-Epi, upregulate neurogenesis markers likely through stimulation of capillary formation and NO triggering, improvements in memory.

Graphical abstract: Stimulatory effects of (−)-epicatechin and its enantiomer (+)-epicatechin on mouse frontal cortex neurogenesis markers and short-term memory: proof of concept

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
23 Nov 2020
Accepted
04 Mar 2021
First published
26 Mar 2021

Food Funct., 2021,12, 3504-3515

Stimulatory effects of (−)-epicatechin and its enantiomer (+)-epicatechin on mouse frontal cortex neurogenesis markers and short-term memory: proof of concept

V. Navarrete-Yañez, A. Garate-Carrillo, M. Ayala, A. Rodriguez-Castañeda, P. Mendoza-Lorenzo, G. Ceballos, R. Ordoñez-Razo, S. Dugar, G. Schreiner, F. Villarreal and I. Ramirez-Sanchez, Food Funct., 2021, 12, 3504 DOI: 10.1039/D0FO03084H

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity

Spotlight

Advertisements