Short-term long chain Omega3 diet protects from neuroinflammatory processes and memory impairment in aged mice

Virginie F. Labrousse, Agnès Nadjar, Corinne Joffre, Laurence Costes, Agnès Aubert, Stéphane Grégoire, Lionel Bretillon, Sophie Layé
PLoS ONE. 2012-05-25; 7(5): e36861
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036861

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1. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36861. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036861. Epub 2012 May 25.

Short-term long chain omega3 diet protects from neuroinflammatory processes and
memory impairment in aged mice.

Labrousse VF(1), Nadjar A, Joffre C, Costes L, Aubert A, Grégoire S, Bretillon L,
Layé S.

Author information:
(1)Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, INRA 1286, Bordeaux, France.

Regular consumption of food enriched in omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3
PUFAs) has been shown to reduce risk of cognitive decline in elderly, and
possibly development of Alzheimer’s disease. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and
eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the most likely active components of ω3-rich
PUFAs diets in the brain. We therefore hypothesized that exposing mice to a DHA
and EPA enriched diet may reduce neuroinflammation and protect against memory
impairment in aged mice. For this purpose, mice were exposed to a control diet
throughout life and were further submitted to a diet enriched in EPA and DHA
during 2 additional months. Cytokine expression together with a thorough analysis
of astrocytes morphology assessed by a 3D reconstruction was measured in the
hippocampus of young (3-month-old) and aged (22-month-old) mice. In addition, the
effects of EPA and DHA on spatial memory and associated Fos activation in the
hippocampus were assessed. We showed that a 2-month EPA/DHA treatment increased
these long-chain ω3 PUFAs in the brain, prevented cytokines expression and
astrocytes morphology changes in the hippocampus and restored spatial memory
deficits and Fos-associated activation in the hippocampus of aged mice.
Collectively, these data indicated that diet-induced accumulation of EPA and DHA
in the brain protects against neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment linked
to aging, further reinforcing the idea that increased EPA and DHA intake may
provide protection to the brain of aged subjects.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036861
PMCID: PMC3360741
PMID: 22662127 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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