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Nutr Neurosci. 2017 May 8:1-14. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1323609. [Epub ahead of print]

n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation restored impaired memory and GABAergic synaptic efficacy in the hippocampus of stressed rats.

Author information

1
a Laboratory of Stress Neurobiology, Center for Neurobiology and Brain Plasticity, Faculty of Sciences , Institute of Physiology, Universidad de Valparaíso , Valparaíso , Chile.
2
b Laboratory of Neural Plasticity, Center for Neurobiology and Brain Plasticity, Faculty of Sciences , Institute of Physiology, Universidad de Valparaíso , Valparaíso , Chile.
3
c Auditory and Cognition Center, AUCO , Santiago , Chile.

Abstract

While chronic stress induces dendritic atrophy in the hippocampus and impairs learning and memory, supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) is known to improve learning and memory of control rats. Whether n-3 PUFA supplementation improves dendritic morphology, synaptic transmission, and memory of chronically stressed rats remains unknown. In this work, we randomly assigned male Sprague-Dawley rats in four experimental groups: two unsupplemented groups, control and stress, and two supplemented groups with n-3 PUFA (DHA and EPA mix), control + n-3 PUFA and stress + n-3 PUFA. Dendritic morphology and synaptic transmission in the hippocampus were evaluated by Golgi stain and patch-clamp tools, respectively. The Y-maze and Morris water maze were used to analyze the effects of chronic stress on memory. Supplementation with n-3 PUFA improved dendritic architecture and restored the frequency of inhibitory post-synaptic currents of hippocampal pyramidal neurons of rats from stress group. In addition, n-3 PUFA supplementation improved spatial memory. Our results demonstrate that n-3 PUFA supplementation had three beneficial effects on stressed rats: prevented or compensated dendritic atrophy in CA3; restored the probability of GABA release in CA1; and improved spatial memory. We argue that n-3 PUFA supplementation can be used in treating stress-related psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.

KEYWORDS:

GABA; Hippocampus; Memory; Stress; Synaptic transmission; n-3 PUFA

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