Date of Award

Summer 8-20-2021

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Food and Nutrition Sciences


Dorothy J. Klimis-Zacas

Second Committee Member

Cristian Del Bo’

Third Committee Member

Robert Gundersen

Additional Committee Members

Brian Perkins

Stefano Vendrame


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is major public health concern. Diet can play a major role in the prevention and/or progression of the MetS. At 8 weeks of age, male obese Zucker rat (OZR) and their lean littermates (LZR) were placed on a control or an 8% w/w whole red raspberry (WRR)-enriched diet for 8 weeks. Circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines and their gene expression in the liver and adipose tissue were evaluated. Several lipid markers were measured in the plasma, liver and adipose tissue. The expression of eight genes related to lipid metabolism were evaluated, both in liver and adipose tissue. Phenylephrine (Phe)-induced vasoconstriction and acetylcholine (Ach)-induced vasorelaxation were measured in aortic rings in the presence or absence of L-N-monomethyl-arginine (L-NMMA) and mefenamic acid (MFA). Prostanoid levels were measured in the aortic effluent. Vascular function related gene were analyzed in the aorta. Plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) decreased in the OZR consuming a WRR diet compared to the OZR-C (p

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