Carqueja (Baccharis trimera) Protects against Oxidative Stress and β-Amyloid-Induced Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015; 2015:740162.OM
Carqueja (Baccharis trimera) is a native plant found throughout South America. Several studies have shown that Carqueja has antioxidant activity in vitro, as well as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, analgesic, antihepatotoxic, and antimutagenic properties. However, studies regarding its antioxidant potential in vivo are limited. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to examine the antioxidant effects of a Carqueja hydroalcoholic extract (CHE) on stress resistance and lifespan and to investigate whether CHE has a protective effect in a C. elegans model for Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show for the first time, using in vivo assays, that CHE treatment improved oxidative stress resistance by increasing survival rate and by reducing ROS levels under oxidative stress conditions independently of the stress-related signaling pathways (p38, JNK, and ERK) and transcription factors (SKN-1/Nrf and DAF-16/Foxo) tested here. CHE treatment also increased the defenses against β-amyloid toxicity in C. elegans, in part by increasing proteasome activity and the expression of two heat shock protein genes. Our findings suggest a potential neuroprotective use for Carqueja, supporting the idea that dietary antioxidants are a promising approach to boost the defensive systems against stress and neurodegeneration.