Protective effects of a grape-supplemented diet in a mouse model of retinal degeneration

Amit K. Patel, Ashley Davis, Maria Esperanza Rodriguez, Samantha Agron, Abigail S. Hackam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Retinal degenerations are a class of devastating blinding diseases that are characterized by photoreceptor dysfunction and death. In this study, we tested whether grape consumption, in the form of freeze-dried grape powder (FDGP), improves photoreceptor survival in a mouse model of retinal degeneration. Methods: Retinal degeneration was induced in mice by acute oxidative stress using subretinal injection of paraquat. The grape-supplemented diet was made by formulating base mouse chow with FDGP, corresponding to three daily human servings of grapes, and a control diet was formulated with equivalent sugar composition as FDGP (0.68% glucose-0.68% fructose mixture). Mice were placed on the diets at weaning for 5 wk before oxidative stress injury until analysis at 2 wk post-injection. Retinal function was measured using electroretinography, thickness of the photoreceptor layer was measured using optical coherence tomography, and rows of photoreceptor nuclei were counted on histologic sections. Results: In mice fed the control diet, oxidative stress significantly reduced photoreceptor layer thickness and photoreceptor numbers. In contrast, retinal thickness and photoreceptor numbers were not reduced by oxidative stress in mice on the grape-supplemented diet, indicating significantly higher photoreceptor survival after injury than mice on the control diet. Furthermore, mice on the grape diet showed preservation of retinal function after oxidative stress injury compared with mice on the control diet. Conclusions: A diet supplemented with grapes rescued retinal structure and function in an oxidative stress-induced mouse model of retinal degeneration, which demonstrates the beneficial effect of grapes on photoreceptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Freeze-dried grape powder
  • Grapes
  • Neuroprotection
  • Nutrition
  • Oxidative stress
  • Paraquat
  • Retina
  • Retinal degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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