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Current Research Projects

Exploring the Cardio-Protective Effects of Red Wine Using Synthetic Wine in Long Evans Rats

Lindizwe Dlamini (2nd year MSc student)

Supervisor: Assoc Prof. Sandrine Lecour ; Co-supervisor/s: Dr. Dee Blackhurst and Dr. Roisin Kelly

Year projected started: 2013

Main purpose of study: The purpose of this study is to establish whether the potential cardioprotective effect observed after chronic wine treatment in rats may be attributed to its melatonin content and/or its isomers. Additionally, describing the cardioprotective effects of melatonin isomers might be a stepping stone in developing a safe and inexpensive novel therapy to prevent and treat IHD.

Outcomes: Pending (Not applicable)

The objectives of the study:

  1. To characterise the chemical and functional properties of the synthetic wine
  2. To investigate whether the addition of melatonin and/or melatonin isomers in synthetic wine contributes to the cardioprotective effect of chronic moderate consumption of red wine against I/R injury in a rat model
  3. To determine whether melatonin and/or melatonin isomers 1 and 2 affect the antioxidant capacity of the heart and lipid peroxidation profile
  4. To determine whether melatonin and/or melatonin isomers 1 and 2 contribute to the cardioprotective effect by improving  mitochondrial function

Techniques used in project:

  1. Measurement of total antioxidant activity of synthetic wine(ORAC assay) and total phenols(Folin-Ciocalteau method)
  2. Measurement of antioxidant enzyme activities of liver and heart ( catalase and superoxide dismutase assay)
  3. Measurement of lipid peroxidation (TBARS assay)
  4. Measurement of cardiac mitochondrial respiration (Oxygraph)
  5. Measurement of infarct size (Triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining)
  6. Hemodynamic parameters in control and treated groups