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Neuroscience. 2019 Jun 18;413:239-251. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.06.009. [Epub ahead of print]

The Impact of the Ketogenic Diet on Glial Cells Morphology. A Quantitative Morphological Analysis.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Electronic address: gzielo@if-pan.krakow.pl.
2
Department of Neuroanatomy, Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.
3
Institute of Physics, Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.

Abstract

Ketogenic diet is reported to protect against cognitive decline, drug-resistant epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, damaging effect of ischemic stroke and many neurological diseases. Despite mounting evidence that this dietary treatment works, the exact mechanism of its protective activity is largely unknown. Ketogenic diet acts systemically, not only changing GABA signaling in neurons, but also influencing the reliance on mitochondrial respiration, known to be disrupted in many neurological diseases. Normally, human body is driven by glucose while ketogenic diet mimics starvation and energy required for proper functioning comes from fatty acids oxidation. In the brain astrocytes are believed to be the sole neural cells capable of fatty oxidation. Here we try to explain that not exclusively neurons, but also morphological changes of astroglia and/or microglia due to different metabolic state are important for the mechanism underlying the protective role of ketogenic diet. By quantifying different parameters describing cellular morphology like ramification index or fractal dimension and using Principal Component Analysis to discover the regularities between them, we demonstrate that in normal adult rat brain, ketogenic diet itself is able to change glial morphology, indicating an important role of these underappreciated cells in the brain metabolism.

KEYWORDS:

Sholl analysis; astrocytes; cell morphology; ketogenic diet; microglia; principal components analysis

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