Lecythis pisonis Cambess is commonly known as “sapucaia” nut. Previous studies show that it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and in antioxidant minerals. The aim of the present study was to assess the antioxidant and anti-inflamatory effects of this nut after its introduction into a control (AIN-93G) or high-fat diet in Wistar rats. The animals were divided into four groups: a control diet, the same control diet supplemented with sapucaia nuts, a high-fat diet or the high-fat diet supplemented with sapucaia nuts and were fed with these diets for 14 or 28 days. The gene expression of the markers tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α NFκB (p65) zinc superoxide dismutase (ZnSOD) and heat shock protein 72 (HSP72) was determined by the chain reaction to the quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). The antioxidant activity was also measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) through the activity of the SOD enzyme. The groups treated with “sapucaia” nuts presented reduced lipid peroxidation values and increased ZnSOD and HSP72 gene expression, as well as decreased TNF-α and NFκB (p65) gene expression levels. The significant results showed that “sapucaia” could serve as a potential source of antioxidants and as a protector agent for the examined animals.
Key words: Sapucaia nuts, inflammation, oxidative stress, gene expression.
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