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Physiol Behav. 2004 Sep 30;82(4):703-11.

Hypercholesterolemic diet applied to rat dams protects their offspring against cognitive deficits. Simulated neonatal anoxia model.

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1
Department of Animal Physiology, Institute of General and Molecular Biology, Nicholas Copernicus University, ul. Gagarina 9, 87-100 Torun, Poland. iwo.bohr@newcastle.ac.uk

Abstract

There is accumulating data suggesting a neuroprotective activity of cholesterol, especially in stroke and Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study, a protective activity of this lipid in simulated neonatal anoxia was investigated. Rats were subjected to high cholesterol by feeding their dams with a diet enriched with cholesterol. Half of these rats were subjected to anoxia. One and a half months later, the rats were tested for their ability to acquire a spatial memory, one group on the linear maze and the other on the Morris water maze. After these assessments, the level of total plasma cholesterol was measured. Rats from dams subjected to neonatal anoxia on standard diet performed worse than control rats in both types of behavioral experiments, whereas anoxic rats from dams were housed on hypercholesterolemic diet performed as control animals. It suggests that dietetic cholesterol applied by their dams protected rats against cognitive deficits elicited by neonatal anoxia. Furthermore, offspring of anoxic rats housed on standard diet had elevated levels of blood cholesterol in relation to control animals. Generally, anoxia affected the concentration of this lipid much stronger than hypercholesterolemic diet of their dams. It might mean that the anoxia-related rise of cholesterol could be involved in physiological phenomenon being an adaptive response to neurotoxic processes. This concept is discussed in relation to pathological mechanisms in AD.

PMID:
15327920
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2004.06.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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