Mice prenatally exposed to valproic acid do not show autism-related disorders when fed with polyunsaturated fatty acid-enriched diets
Sci Rep. 2023-07-11; 13(1):
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Dietary supplementations with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) have been explored in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but their efficiency and potential in ameliorating cardinal symptoms of the disease remain elusive. Here, we compared a n-3 long-chain (LC) PUFA dietary supplementation (n-3 supp) obtained from fatty fish with a n-3 PUFA precursor diet (n-3 bal) obtained from plant oils in the valproic acid (VPA, 450 mg/kg at E12.5) ASD mouse model starting from embryonic life, throughout lactation and until adulthood. Maternal and offspring behaviors were investigated as well as several VPA-induced ASD biological features: cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) number, inflammatory markers, gut microbiota, and peripheral and brain PUFA composition. Developmental milestones were delayed in the n-3 supp group compared to the n-3 bal group in both sexes. Whatever the diet, VPA-exposed offspring did not show ASD characteristic alterations in social behavior, stereotypies, PC number, or gut microbiota dysbiosis while global activity, gait, peripheral and brain PUFA levels as well as cerebellar TNF-alpha levels were differentially altered by diet and treatment according to sex. The current study provides evidence of beneficial effects of n-3 PUFA based diets, including one without LCPUFAs, on preventing several behavioral and cellular symptoms related to ASD.