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Front Neurosci. 2019 Jan 23;13:9. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00009. eCollection 2019.

Maternal Supplementation With Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) Pulp and Oil Alters Reflex Maturation, Physical Development, and Offspring Memory in Rats.

Author information

1
Program of Food Science and Tecnology, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.
2
Laboratory of Experimental Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Cuité, Brazil.
3
Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.
4
Laboratory of Bromatology, Department of Nutrition, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.
5
Laboratory of Bromatology, Department of Nutrition, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Cuité, Brazil.
6
Center for Biotechnology and Chemistry, School of Biotechnology, Catholic University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Abstract

Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is an oleaginous fruit source of fatty acids with high levels of neuroprotective phytocomplexes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the development of reflex and somatic maturation, fatty acid profiles in the brain, and memory in different stages of life in the offspring of dams supplemented with avocado pulp and oil during gestation and lactation. The dams were randomly divided into three groups (n = 15 pups/group), and recieved by gavage supplementation: control group (CG)-distilled water; Avocado Oil (AO)-3,000 mg avocado oil/kg animal weight, and Avocado Pulp (AP)-3,000 mg avocado pulp/kg animal weight. We performed the following tests: Analysis of Somatic Development and Ontogeny of Postnatal Reflex (T0 to T21), the Open Field Habituation Test and the Object Recognition Test (ORT) in the adolescent (T45) and adult (T90) phases. The cerebral fatty acids content was evaluated at times T0, T21, T45, and T90. The results were analyzed using the statistical program GraphPad Prism and significant statistics were considered when p < 0.05. Acceleration of reflex maturation and reflex ontogeny was observed in the offspring of AO and AP fed dams, with the results being more pronounced in the pulp fed group (p < 0.05). All groups presented a decrease in the ambulation parameter in the second exposure to the Open Field Habituation Test, at T45 and T90 (p < 0.05). In the ORT, the AO and AP offspring presented memory improvements in the short and long term in the adult and adolescent phases (p < 0.05). The results of the brain fatty acid profiles presented higher polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) content in the AO and AP groups at T21, T45, and T90. The docosahexaenoic fatty acid (DHA) content was higher at T21 (AO and AP), at T45 (AO and AP), and at T90 (AP) (p < 0.05). The arachidonic acid (ARA) content was higher at T45 (AO and AP), and at T90 (AO) (p < 0.05). Maternal supplementation with avocado oil and pulp anticipates reflex maturation and somatic postnatal development, and improves memory during the adolescent and adult phases.

KEYWORDS:

avocado; cerebral fatty acids; memory; postnatal development; rats

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