Researchers examine the anti-inflammatory properties of blueberry polyphenols


In this study, researchers at Texas Woman’s University investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of blueberry polyphenols (BBPs) using rabbit synoviocytes stimulated with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease that causes the destruction of joints and disabilities in older adults.
  • The etiology of RA is poorly understood and there is no mainstream cure for this disease.
  • According to research, the accumulation and proliferation of fibroblast-like synoviocytes may be involved in the destruction of cartilage associated with RA.
  • On the other hand, in vivo and in vitro studies support the anti-inflammatory role of dietary polyphenols from fruits and vegetables.
  • To examine the anti-inflammatory activities of BBPs against RA, the researchers stimulated rabbit synoviocytes (HIG-82) with TNF-a and treated them with different doses of BBPs.
  • They reported that the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-increased cell proliferation by around 19 percent, but BBP treatment significantly decreased cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner.
  • Cells treated with BBPs also showed decreased levels of interleukin (IL)-1B and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB).
  • Meanwhile, reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results revealed that matrix metalloproteinase 3 expression increased fivefold in the control TNF-a-stimulated group but decreased by threefold in the BBP-treated group.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that blueberry polyphenols can reduce inflammation associated with RA by downregulating the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the transcription factor, NF-kB.