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BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence suggests that disturbances in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may be pivotal to the pathogenesis and pathology of vascular-based neurodegenerative disorders. Studies suggest that heightened systemic and central inflammations are associated with BBB dysfunction. This study investigated the effect of the anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals garlic extract-aged (GEA), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), niacin, and nicotinamide (NA) in a murine dietary-induced model of BBB dysfunction. METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet enriched in saturated fatty acids (SFA, 40% fat of total energy) for nine months to induce systemic inflammation and BBB disturbances. Nutraceutical treatment groups included the provision of either GEA, ALA, niacin or NA in the positive control SFA-group and in low-fat fed controls. Brain parenchymal extravasation of plasma derived immunoglobulin G (IgG) and large macromolecules (apolipoprotein (apo) B lipoproteins) measured by quantitative immunofluorescent microscopy, were used as markers of disturbed BBB integrity. Parenchymal glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were considered in the context of surrogate markers of neurovascular inflammation and oxidative stress. Total anti-oxidant status and glutathione reductase activity were determined in plasma. RESULTS: Brain parenchymal abundance of IgG and apoB lipoproteins was markedly exaggerated in mice maintained on the SFA diet concomitant with significantly increased GFAP and COX-2, and reduced systemic anti-oxidative status. The nutraceutical GEA, ALA, niacin, and NA completely prevented the SFA-induced disturbances of BBB and normalized the measures of neurovascular inflammation and oxidative stress. CONCLUSIONS: The anti-inflammatory nutraceutical agents GEA, ALA, niacin, or NA are potent inhibitors of dietary fat-induced disturbances of BBB induced by systemic inflammations.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neuroinflammation

Publication Date





Animals, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Apolipoproteins A, Blood-Brain Barrier, Cyclooxygenase 2, Diet, Dietary Fats, Dietary Supplements, Fatty Acids, Female, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Immunoglobulin G, Inflammation, Lipids, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Niacin, Oxidative Stress, Weight Gain