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  Dietary deficiency in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids produces behavioral changes in rat pups and adolescents

Bondi, C., Tock, J., Totah, N., Taha, A., Rapoport, S., & Moghaddam, B. (2011). Dietary deficiency in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids produces behavioral changes in rat pups and adolescents. Poster presented at 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2011), Washington, DC, USA.

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Bondi, CO, Author
Tock, JL, Author
Totah, NK1, Author              
Taha, AY, Author
Rapoport, SI, Author
Moghaddam, B, Author
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1Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), play an important role in normal brain structure and function. Several findings in humans support the hypothesis of functional links between PUFA status, brain neurotransmission alterations and behavioral disorders. We investigated involvement of n-3 PUFAs in central nervous system function by assessing effects of dietary PUFA deficiency in a variety of behavioral tasks in consecutive generations of rats. These included pre-weaning maternal bonding and anxiety-like behavior in rats bred to a second generation on diets that were either deficient (DEF) or adequate (ADQ) in PUFAs. First generation (G1) Sprague-Dawley offspring were raised by dams separated into two groups after determination of pregnancy, one receiving a PUFA adequate diet and the other receiving a PUFA deficient diet (Dyets Inc. Bethlehem, PA), which lacks alpha-Linoleic acid, a precursor of DHA. Male rat pups underwent the return to dam test before weaning, following which they were kept on the same diet as their respective dams. Further testing was done during puberty in the open field test. Adult females from G1 were maintained on their respective PUFA diets and bred with normal chow-fed male rats. Second generation (G2) offspring were divided into the two PUFA diets and underwent the same battery of behavioral tests at the same developmental points as G1. After a brief separation from mother, G2 DEF rats exhibited significantly less crossings between the two compartments compared to ADQ and G1 DEF rats. Latency of crossing was not affected suggesting that this effect is not caused by motor deficits. Pubertal rats were also assessed for exploratory drive in the open field. G1 rats displayed a trend toward reduced time spent in the center (p=0.06), while G2 rats spent significantly less time in open area (p<0.05), with no changes in ambulatory activity. These findings suggest that n-3 PUFA deficiency may be associated with less exploratory behavior and increased anxiety in adolescent rats. Other behavioral characterizations are underway. This generational n-3 PUFA deprived rat model may be useful for revealing the contribution of chronic dietary n-3 PUFA deficiency to behavioral deficits relevant to psychiatric illnesses.

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 Dates: 2011-11-16
 Publication Status: Published in print
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Title: 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2011)
Place of Event: Washington, DC, USA
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Title: 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2011)
Source Genre: Proceedings
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: 777.20 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -