Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 19 pp 19785—19808
Protective effect of Vigna unguiculata extract against aging and neurodegeneration
- 1 Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy
- 2 Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Firenze, Firenze, Italy
- 3 Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health, University of Firenze, Firenze, Italy
- 4 School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy
- 5 School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy
- 6 Department for Life Quality Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Rimini, Italy
- 7 Institute of Biosciences and BioResources (IBBR), CNR, Naples, Italy
- 8 Department of Chemistry, University of Milano, Milano, Italy
- 9 Department of Veterinary Medicine (DIMEVET), University of Milano, Milano, Italy
Received: March 22, 2020 Accepted: August 14, 2020 Published: October 5, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.104069
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2020 Tripodi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Aging and age-related neurodegeneration are among the major challenges in modern medicine because of the progressive increase in the number of elderly in the world population. Nutrition, which has important long-term consequences for health, is an important way to prevent diseases and achieve healthy aging. The beneficial effects of Vigna unguiculata on metabolic disorders have been widely documented. Here, we show that an aqueous extract of V. unguiculata beans delays senescence both in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Drosophila melanogaster, in a Snf1/AMPK-dependent manner. Consistently, an increased expression of FOXO, SIRT1, NOTCH and heme oxygenase (HO) genes, already known to be required for the longevity extension in D. melanogaster, is also shown. Preventing α-synuclein self-assembly is one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD), for which aging is a risk factor. In vitro aggregation of α-synuclein, its toxicity and membrane localization in yeast and neuroblastoma cells are strongly decreased in the presence of bean extract. In a Caenorhabditis elegans model of PD, V. unguiculata extract substantially reduces the number of the age-dependent degeneration of the cephalic dopaminergic neurons. Our findings support the role of V. unguiculata beans as a functional food in age-related disorders.