Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Behav Neurosci. 2009 Feb;123(1):196-205. doi: 10.1037/a0013801.

An n-3 fatty acid deficiency impairs rat spatial learning in the Barnes maze.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Rockville, Maryland, USA. ifedorova@martek.com

Abstract

In this study, the authors demonstrate that rats with n-3 fatty acid deficiency display spatial learning deficits in the Barnes circular maze. Dams were deprived of n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation, and their offspring were weaned to the same deficient diet. There was a 58% loss of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the n-3 fatty acid-deficient rats in comparison to n-3 fatty acid-adequate rats. At 8 weeks of age, deficient rats demonstrated moderate impairment in Barnes maze performance compared with the n-3 fatty acid-adequate rats during the initial training. In the reversal learning task, the n-3 fatty acid-deficient rats showed a profound deficit in performance: They required more time to find a new position of the escape tunnel, which was accompanied by a higher number of errors and perseverations. The n-3 fatty acid-deficient rats had reduced tissue levels of dopamine in the ventral striatum and enhanced levels of the metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in frontal cortex and hypothalamus. In summary, this study demonstrates that rats with low brain DHA have a deficit in spatial reversal learning that could be related to changes in dopamine transmission in critical brain circuits.

(c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk