Hot Water Extract of Wheat Bran Attenuates White Matter Injury in a Rat Model of Vascular Dementia

  • Lim, Sun Ha (Department of Biochemistry, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine) ;
  • Lee, Jongwon (Department of Biochemistry, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine)
  • Received : 2014.07.02
  • Accepted : 2014.09.16
  • Published : 2014.09.30


Vascular dementia is characterized by white matter lesions involving the demyelination and activation of astrocytes and microglia. In a previous study, we showed that the supernatant of a laboratory-scale, hot water extract of ground whole wheat (TALE) attenuated white matter injury and astrocytic activation in a rat model of bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO). In the present study, we made several modifications to the hot water extraction process to remove starch and enable large-scale production. We used wheat bran (WB), which contains less starch, instead of ground whole wheat. In addition, we removed starch granules with a decanter before hot water extraction. The final product, wheat bran extract (WBE), contained 2.42% arabinose, a surrogate marker of arabinoxylan, which is an active constituent of WBE. Supplementation of the rat model of BCCAO with WBE (400 mg/kg/day) for 33 days attenuated white matter injury, which was assessed by Luxol Fast Blue staining, in the corpus callosum (cc) and optic tract (opt) regions. Attenuation of white matter injury in the opt region was accompanied by improvement of the pupillary light reflex. Immunochemical staining revealed that supplementation with WBE reduced astrocytic activation in the cc and opt regions and reduced microglial activation in the opt region. These findings indicate that supplementation with WBE is effective at attenuating white matter injury accompanied by the inhibition of astrocytic and microglial activation. Therefore, extracts from WB, a cheap by-product of wheat milling, can be developed as a nutraceutical to prevent vascular dementia, a disease for which there is no approved pharmaceutical treatment.


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