FIGURE 13.1 Spirulina, apple, or cucumber diets were administered to rats for 14 days before electrophysiolgical examination of f-adrenergic receptor function followed by analysis of MDA and TNF mRNA levels in cerebellar tissues from young and aged rats. (a) Bargraph showing the response of Purkinje neurons in the cerebellar cortex to locally applied isoproterenol. In young rats close to 70% of neurons recorded respond to isoproterenol with an augmentation of GABA responses. In aged rats the f -adrenergic receptor looses function and only 40% of neurons respond to isoproterenol. Following a diet enriched in either apple or Spirulina the Purkinje cells respond to isoproterenol and are not significantly different from young rats. However, cucumber a food low in ORAC, was not capable of altering the response to isorproterenol in aged rats. (b) Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were measured by HPLC in cerebellar tissues from young and aged animals studied in 1a. Both the apple and Spirulina diets reduced the increase is MDA observed with age, cucumber had no effect on MDA levels in the aged cerebellar tissue, (1c) mRNA levels of TNFa, and TNFf were measured by the RNA polymerase assay. As can be seen in the bar graph, levels of these two cytokines increase in the cerebellar tissue of the aged rats. Both the cucumber and Spirulina diets decreased the levels of TNFa and TNFf , however the cucumber diet did not have any significant effect on cytokine levels.
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