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Neurochem Int. 2018 Dec;121:75-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2018.09.009. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Chronic high-fat diet-induced obesity in gerbils increases pro-inflammatory cytokines and mTOR activation, and elicits neuronal death in the striatum following brief transient ischemia.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Gangwon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Biomedical Science and Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Gangwon, 24252, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Research Institute of Oral Sciences, College of Dentistry, Gangnung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Gangwon, 25457, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Gangwon, 24341, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Dankook University, Cheonan, 31116, Republic of Korea.
6
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, Republic of Korea.
7
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Integrated Traditional Chinese, Western Medicine for Prevention and Treatment of Senile Diseases, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225001, PR China.
8
Department of Neurobiology, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Gangwon, 24341, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: mhwon@kangwon.ac.kr.
9
Department of Biomedical Science and Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Gangwon, 24252, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: jh-park@hallym.ac.kr.

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that obesity and its related metabolic dysfunction exacerbate outcomes of ischemic brain injuries in some brain areas, such as the hippocampus and cerebral cortex when they are subjected to transient ischemia. However, the impact of obesity in the striatum after brief transient ischemia has not yet been addressed. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of obesity on neuronal damage and inflammation in the striatum after transient ischemia and to examine the role of mTOR which is involved in the pathogenesis of metabolic and neurological diseases. Gerbils were fed with normal diet (ND) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks and subjected to 5 min of transient ischemia. HFD-fed gerbils showed significant increase in body weight, blood glucose level, serum triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol without affecting food intake. Neuronal death/loss in the HFD-fed gerbils occurred in the dorsolateral striatum 2 days after transient ischemia, and neuronal loss was increased 5 days after transient ischemia, although no neuronal loss was observed in ND-fed gerbils at any time after transient ischemia. The HFD-fed gerbils showed hypertrophied microglia and further increased expressions of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interukin-1beta, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and phosphorylated-mTOR during pre- and post-ischemic phases compared with the ND-fed gerbils. Additionally, we found that treatment with mTOR inhibitor rapamycin in the HFD-fed gerbils significantly attenuated transient ischemia-induced neuronal death in the dorsolateral striatum. These findings reveal that chronic HFD-induced obesity results in severe neuroinflammation and significant increase of mTOR activation, which could contribute to neuronal death in the stratum following 5 min of transient ischemia. Especially, abnormal mTOR activation would play a key role in mediating obesity-induced severe ischemic brain injury.

KEYWORDS:

Ischemia-reperfusion; Neuroinflammation; Neuronal loss/death; Obesity; Pro-inflammatory cytokines; mTOR

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