Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Smiti V. Gupta


Depression can be experienced by individuals of all ages, and can result in alterations of mood, decreased ability to function, and fatigue. Current treatment involves pharmaceuticals, which can result in adverse side effects, and there is a risk of relapse. Nutraceuticals are of interest because they may be able to work as efficiently as current treatments, and will cause fewer adverse effects. Curcumin and oil palm phenolics (OPP) are polyphenolic compounds that exhibit beneficial properties, including anti-oxidant and anti-cancer, and may assist in the regulation of diabetes. For this experiment, we utilized a neuronal rat cell line, RN46A-B14, which exhibits proliferative and differentiating properties, to study the effect of supplementation of curcumin and OPP on the regulation of the serotonin pathway as well as the metabolic profile, to discover potential antidepressants. Real-time quantitative PCR was done to determine if curcumin and OPP had any impact on the regulation of serotonin pathway-related genes. It was found that the expression of Aanat in the differentiating cells was decreased. Western blot analysis was done to examine the protein levels of tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH1 and TPH2), in which no significant changes were seen within any treatment condition. 1H NMR analysis was also done, in which the metabolomics approach was used to determine if there were any changes in metabolic profiles of treatment conditions; it was found that all treatment conditions did differ from the control, but the OPP and dual treatment of curcumin and OPP exhibited the largest changes in metabolic profiles. Overall, the study showed the potential serotonin enhancing ability of OPP within differentiating cells.

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Nutrition Commons