Mechanistic insights to the cardioprotective effect of blueberry nutraceutical extract in isoprenaline-induced cardiac hypertrophy
Background: Lowbush blueberry extract (Vaccinium angustifolium) is abundant with polyphenols (such as chlorogenic acid) with high antioxidant profile. It has received great interest due to its protective role in many disorders such as heart diseases and neurological disorders. Hypothesis: We hypothesized that blueberry leaf extract might have a protective effect against cardiac hypertrophy via suppressing oxidative stress, inflammation and fibrosis. Method: Blueberry leaf nutraceutical extract was administered orally to male albino rats at three different doses (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg/day of the extract, equivalent to 3.4, 6.8 and 13.6 mg of chlorogenic acid, respectively) once daily for 28 consecutive days against a dose of isoprenaline (ISO) (5 mg/kg) for 14 days. Results: The results indicated that isoprenaline induced significant myocardial damage, characterized by conduction abnormalities, increased heart-to-body weight ratio, increased serum CKMB, AST, c-TnI and LDH. Pretreatment with blueberry extract at a dose of 50 mg/kg/day (equivalent to 6.8 mg chlorogenic acid) protected against ISO-induced ECG changes, leakage of cardiac enzymes and histopathological changes. Also, ISO caused significant glutathione depletion, lipid peroxidation and reduction in activities of antioxidant catalase enzyme. These effects were prevented by pretreatment with blueberry extract. Additionally, ISO elicited inflammatory effects by increasing the expression of NF-κB, COX-2, TNF-α and IL-6 while pretreatment with blueberry extract significantly inhibited these inflammatory responses. Furthermore, ISO induced fibrosis by increasing the level of TGF-β while pretreatment with blueberry extract significantly reduced it. Conclusion: These findings indicate that blueberry leaf extract possessed a potent protective effect against ISO-induced cardiac hypertrophy via suppressing oxidative stress, inflammation and fibrosis.