4 years ago

High-fat diet and aging interact to produce neuroinflammation and impair hippocampal- and amygdalar-dependent memory

More Americans are consuming diets higher in saturated fats and refined sugars than ever before, and based on increasing obesity rates, this is a growing trend among older adults as well. While high saturated fat diet (HFD) consumption has been shown to sensitize the inflammatory response to a subsequent immune challenge in young adult rats, the inflammatory effect of HFD in the already-vulnerable aging brain has not yet been assessed. Here, we explored whether short-term (3 days) consumption of HFD would serve as a neuroinflammatory trigger in aging animals, leading to cognitive deficits. HFD impaired long-term contextual (hippocampal dependent) and auditory-cued fear (amygdalar dependent) memory in aged, but not young adult rats. Short-term memory performance for both tasks was intact, suggesting that HFD impairs memory consolidation processes. Microglial markers of activation Iba1 and cd11b were only increased in the aged rats, while MHCII was further amplified by HFD. Furthermore, these HFD-induced long-term memory impairments were accompanied by IL-1β protein increases in both the hippocampus and amygdala in aged rats. Central administration of IL-1RA in aged rats following conditioning mitigated both contextual and auditory-cued fear memory impairments caused by HFD, strongly suggesting that IL-1β plays a critical role in these effects. Voluntary wheel running, known to have anti-inflammatory effects in the hippocampus, rescued hippocampal-dependent but not amygdalar-dependent memory impairments caused by HFD. Together, these data suggest that short-term consumption of HFD can lead to memory deficits and significant brain inflammation in the aged animal, and strongly suggest that appropriate diet is crucial for cognitive health.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0197458017302105

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.