Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Desiree Wanders

Second Advisor

Rafaela Feresin

Third Advisor

Xiangming Ji


Several chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer have been linked to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Angiotensin (Ang) II, a hormone that increases blood pressure, has been shown to induce inflammation and oxidative stress in adipose tissue. Berries have well documented anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Our goal was to determine if adding blackberries or raspberries to the diet mitigates Ang II-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in the epididymal and retroperitoneal white adipose tissue. At 8 weeks of age, male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to one of five groups: 1) control, 2) Ang II, 3) Ang II + 10% blackberry diet, 4) Ang II + 10% raspberry diet, or 5) Ang II + 5% blackberry and 5% raspberry combination diet. The rats were fed their respective diets for four weeks at which point rats had osmotic minipumps implanted that delivered either saline or Ang II (270 ng/kg BW/min). The rats consumed their assigned diets for an additional three weeks. Adipose tissue was collected, and expression of genes involved in inflammatory and antioxidant pathways was measured by real-time PCR (Il1b, Ccl2, Nqo1, Gpx1, Nrf2, and Hmox1). Ang II did not significantly affect expression of genes involved in the inflammatory or antioxidant pathways. Likewise, while berry consumption tended to reduce expression of some inflammatory genes, the berries had no significant effect on expression of the genes measured. Though some studies have found berries to mitigate inflammation and oxidative stress in rat models, our results were nonsignificant. The discrepancy may be due to the concentration of Ang II, the exposure time of the berry diet, the type of berries used, or the concentration of freeze-dried berry power used in the study. Therefore, our data suggest further research investigating the impact of berry consumption on inflammation and oxidative stress in adipose tissue.


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