Blueberry consumption challenges hepatic mitochondrial bioenergetics and elicits transcriptomics reprogramming in healthy wistar rats

Sara Nunes, Sofia D. Viana, Inês Preguiça, André Alves, Rosa Fernandes, João S. Teodoro, Artur Figueirinha, Lígia Salgueiro, Sara Silva, Ivana Jarak, Rui A. Carvalho, Cláudia Cavadas, Anabela P. Rolo, Carlos M. Palmeira, Maria M. Pintado, Flávio Reis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


An emergent trend of blueberries’ (BB) “prophylactic” consumption, due to their phytochemicals’ richness and well-known health-promoting claims, is widely scaled-up. However, the benefits arising from BB indiscriminate intake remains puzzling based on incongruent preclinical and human data. To provide a more in-depth elucidation and support towards a healthier and safer consumption, we conducted a translation-minded experimental study in healthy Wistar rats that consumed BB in a juice form (25 g/kg body weight (BW)/day; 14 weeks’ protocol). Particular attention was paid to the physiological adaptations succeeding in the gut and liver tissues regarding the acknowledged BB-induced metabolic benefits. Systemically, BB boosted serum antioxidant activity and repressed the circulating levels of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-HB) ketone bodies and 3-HB/acetoacetate ratio. Moreover, BB elicited increased fecal succinic acid levels without major changes on gut microbiota (GM) composition and gut ultra-structural organization. Remarkably, an accentuated hepatic mitochondrial bioenergetic challenge, ensuing metabolic transcriptomic reprogramming along with a concerted anti-inflammatory pre-conditioning, was clearly detected upon long-term consumption of BB phytochemicals. Altogether, the results disclosed herein portray a quiescent mitochondrial-related metabolomics and hint for a unified adaptive response to this nutritional challenge. The beneficial or noxious consequences arising from this dietary trend should be carefully interpreted and necessarily claims future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1094
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Anti-inflammatory pre-conditioning
  • Bioenergetics remodeling
  • Blueberries
  • Long-term consumption
  • Transcriptomics reprogramming


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