Morinda citrifolia fruit reduces stress-induced impairment of cognitive function accompanied by vasculature improvement in mice.

Physiol Behav. 2010 Apr 21. [Epub ahead of print]

Muto J, Hosung L, Uwaya A, Isami F, Ohno M, Mikami T.

Nippon Sport Science University Graduate School of Health and Sport Science, Japan.

The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of Morinda citrifolia fruit juice, which is locally called Noni, on stress-induced impairment of cognitive function. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups: Control (C mice), Restraint stress (RS mice), Restraint+Noni (Noni mice), and Restraint+vitamin E (VE mice). The RS, Noni, and VE mice were subjected to 8h of chronic restraint stress (CRS) 6days a week for 6weeks. During this period, the Noni and VE mice were given a diet supplemented with either Noni or vitamin E, respectively. At Week 5, the mice were subjected to the Morris water maze (MWM) test to measure cognitive function.

At Week 7, mouse brains were isolated for immunohistochemical analysis with BrdU or CD31 antibody to assess the proliferation of new cells and blood vessel density in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. The time taken to reach the platform in the MWM test was shorter in the Noni mice than in the RS mice on Day 16.

Malondialdehyde (MDA ) level of the Noni mice was significantly higher than that of the C mice; however no difference was found in MDA levels between the VE and C mice. Blood vessel area was significantly lower in the R and VE mice than in the C mice; no difference was found between the C and Noni mice. These findings suggest that the administration of Noni fruit juice protects brains from stress-induced impairment of cognitive function and that this protective effect may be related to improvement in stress-induced decreases in blood vessel density in the hippocampal dentate gyrus.

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