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Neuroscience. 2013 Sep 5;247:242-52. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.05.053. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Influence of perinatal trans fat on behavioral responses and brain oxidative status of adolescent rats acutely exposed to stress.

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Programa de Pós-Graduação em Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, UFSM, RS, Brazil.


Because consumption of processed foods has increased in the last decades and so far its potential influence on emotionality and susceptibility to stress is unknown, we studied the influence of different fatty acids (FA) on behavioral and biochemical parameters after acute restrain stress (AS) exposure. Two sequential generations of female rats were supplemented with soybean oil (control group; C-SO), fish oil (FO) and hydrogenated vegetable fat (HVF) from pregnancy and during lactation. At 41days of age, half the animals of each supplemented group were exposed to AS and observed in open field and elevated plus maze task, followed by euthanasia for biochemical assessments. The HVF-supplemented group showed higher anxiety-like symptoms per se, while the C-SO and FO groups did not show these behaviors. Among groups exposed to AS, HVF showed locomotor restlessness in the open field, while both C-SO and HVF groups showed anxiety-like symptoms in the elevated plus maze, but this was not observed in the FO group. Biochemical evaluations showed higher lipoperoxidation levels and lower cell viability in cortex in the HVF group. In addition, HVF-treated rats showed reduced catalase activity in striatum and hippocampus, as well as increased generation of reactive species in striatum, while FO was associated with increased cell viability in the hippocampus. Among groups exposed to AS, HVF increased reactive species generation in the brain, decreased cell viability in the cortex and striatum, and decreased catalase activity in the striatum and hippocampus. Taken together, our findings show that the type of FA provided during development and growth over two generations is able to modify the brain oxidative status, which was particularly adversely affected by trans fat. In addition, the harmful influence of chronic consumption of trans fats as observed in this study can enhance emotionality and anxiety parameters resulting from stressful situations of everyday life, which can trigger more severe neuropsychiatric conditions.


3-(4,5-dimethyllthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide; ANOVA; AS; C-SO; EFA; FA; FO; HVF; MDA; MTT; PUFA; TBARS; TFA; acute stress; analysis of variance; anxiety; control group – soybean oil; essential fatty acids; fatty acids; fish oil; hydrogenated vegetable fat; malondialdehyde; oxidative stress; polyunsaturated fatty acids; thiobarbituric acid reactive species; trans fatty acids

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