Purple pitanga fruit (Eugenia uniflora L.) protects against oxidative stress and increase the lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans via the DAF-16/FOXO pathway.Food Chem Toxicol 2018; 120:639-650FC
Pitanga, a fruit of the pitangueira tree (Eugenia uniflora L.), is native to Brazil and has a high antioxidant capacity due to the elevated amount of anthocyanins. The present study aimed to investigate the chemical composition of the purple pitanga fruit and to evaluate its antioxidant effect in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We observed that the ethanolic extract of purple pitanga did not cause any toxic effects but notably increased worm lifespan. The extract improved the survival, reproduction and lifespan of the worms in pre- and post-exposure to stressors H2O2 and juglone, as well as improved the lifespan of the oxidative stress hypersensitive strain mev-1. Notably, PPE extract decreased reactive oxygen species by DCF-DA probe and protein carbonyl content from worms stressed with H2O2. The extract also affected the expression of superoxide dismutase SOD-3 and heat shock protein HSP-16.2 levels, daf 16 target genes that modulate lifespan and antioxidant metabolism. In addition, we demonstrate that these effects are dependent on DAF-16, as PPE extract did not provide protection in daf-16 mutants. Therefore, these results suggest that PPE significantly protected against oxidative stress modulating daf-16 target genes.