Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Behav Brain Res. 2015 Jun 1;286:265-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.02.036. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

Chronic high fat feeding increases anxiety-like behaviour and reduces transcript abundance of glucocorticoid signalling genes in the hippocampus of female rats.

Author information

1
Center for Environmental Epigenetics and Development, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Center for Environmental Epigenetics and Development, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, Toronto, ON, Canada; Departments of Cell and Systems Biology, Psychology, and Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address: patrick.mcgowan@utoronto.ca.

Abstract

The consumption of diets high in saturated fats and obesity have been associated with impaired physical and mental health. Previous studies indicate that chronic high fat diet consumption leads to systemic inflammation in humans and non-human animal models. Studies in non-human animals suggest that altered physiological responses to stress are also a consequence of high fat diet consumption. Glucocorticoid signalling mechanisms may link immune and stress-related pathways in the brain, and were shown to be significantly altered in the brains of female rat offspring of mothers exposed to chronic high fat diet during pregnancy and lactation. For adult females, the consequence of chronic high fat diet consumption on these signalling pathways and their relationship to stress-related behaviour is not known. In this study, we examined the effects of chronic consumption of a high fat diet compared to a low fat control diet among adult female Long Evans rats. We found significant differences in weight gain, caloric intake, anxiety-related behaviours, and glucocorticoid-related gene expression over a 10-week exposure period. As expected, rats in the high fat diet group gained the most weight and consumed the greatest number of calories. Rats in the high fat diet group showed significantly greater levels of anxiety-related behaviour in the Light Dark and Open Field tasks compared to rats in the low fat diet group. Rats consuming high fat diet also exhibited reduced transcript abundance in the hippocampus of stress-related mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor genes, as well as nuclear factor kappa beta gene expression, implicated in inflammatory processes. Together, these data indicate that chronic high fat diet consumption may increase anxiety-like behaviour at least in part via alterations in glucocorticoid signalling mechanisms in limbic brain regions.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety behaviour; Glucocorticoid signalling; High fat diet; Inflammatory process; Limbic system; Obesity

PMID:
25721737
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2015.02.036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center