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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 768101, 12 pages
Research Article

A Nonpolar Blueberry Fraction Blunts NADPH Oxidase Activation in Neuronal Cells Exposed to Tumor Necrosis Factor-α

1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 900 Yukon Drive, REIC 194, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
2Chemistry Department, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA

Received 25 May 2011; Revised 16 September 2011; Accepted 11 November 2011

Academic Editor: Qingping Feng

Copyright © 2012 Sally J. Gustafson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inflammation and oxidative stress are key to the progressive neuronal degeneration common to chronic pathologies, traumatic injuries, and aging processes in the CNS. The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) orchestrates cellular stress by stimulating the production and release of neurotoxic mediators including reactive oxygen species (ROS). NADPH oxidases (NOX), ubiquitously expressed in all cells, have recently emerged as pivotal ROS sources in aging and disease. We demonstrated the presence of potent NOX inhibitors in wild Alaska bog blueberries partitioning discretely into a nonpolar fraction with minimal antioxidant capacity and largely devoid of polyphenols. Incubation of SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells with nonpolar blueberry fractions obstructed the coalescing of lipid rafts into large domains disrupting NOX assembly therein and abolishing ROS production characteristic for TNF-α exposure. These findings illuminate nutrition-derived lipid raft modulation as a novel therapeutic approach to blunt inflammatory and oxidative stress in the aging or diseased CNS.