Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adolescents' high-fat diet impairs memory and learning

Date:
June 17, 2013
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
A high-fat diet in adolescence appears to have long-lasting effects on learning and memory during adulthood, a new study in mice finds.

A high-fat diet in adolescence appears to have long-lasting effects on learning and memory during adulthood, a new study in mice finds. The results were presented Saturday at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Adolescent mice fed a normal-calorie but high-fat diet became moderately obese but not diabetic, and they displayed significantly impaired spatial memory, according to the study authors, from CEU-San Pablo University (Universidad CEU-San Pablo) in Madrid. Spatial memory allows recording of information needed to navigate in a familiar environment and is pivotal for learning, said the lead author, Mariano Ruiz-Gayo, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the university.

Adult mice that received the same diet had intact performance on memory tasks, showing that, unlike the adolescents, they were not sensitive to the effects of the fatty diet, he reported.

"This study shows that normocaloric diets containing high amounts of saturated fat might have deleterious and long-lasting effects on the developing brain, even in the absence of apparent diabetes," Ruiz-Gayo said.

In their study, the investigators gave 15 male adolescent mice an eight-week, high-fat diet in which 45 percent of the calories came from unhealthy, saturated fat. Another 15 male mice received a conventional diet with the same number of calories (the control group). A similar study was carried out in adult mice so the researchers could test the effects of a high-fat diet starting later in life.

To test the rodents' spatial memory, the researchers used the novel location recognition test. In this test, the mice were placed in an open-field box -- an open but walled box with a single chamber -- containing two objects, plastic toy (Lego) pieces. The mice were already familiar with the box and one of the objects, but the other object was new to them. The mice explored the box for 10 minutes initially. One hour and 24 hours later, the mice returned to the box, where each time the new object was in a different position. The researchers recorded how long it took the rodents to find the new object.

The scientists found that it took mice significantly longer to find the new object if they had received the high-fat diet when their brains were immature. Ruiz-Gayo said this demonstrated impaired spatial memory in the mice whose high-fat diet started in adolescence. The memory damage reportedly did not reverse after these mice received a reduced-calorie diet, suggesting that the changes were long-lasting.

Additionally, laboratory analyses of the brain showed corresponding long-lasting brain changes in the mice with memory deficits, according to the authors. In the brain regions related to memory (the hippocampus), these mice had changes in the structure of their neurons, or nerve cells. The researchers also found, in the brain, a partial loss of leptin, a hormone released by fat tissue that helps support cognitive function.

Ruiz-Gayo speculated that the brain's memory centers are susceptible to a high-fat diet during adolescence because of hormonal changes in the brain, most prominently in leptin.

The study received funding from Spain's Ministerio de Economνa y Competitividad and CEU-San Pablo University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Adolescents' high-fat diet impairs memory and learning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617110813.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2013, June 17). Adolescents' high-fat diet impairs memory and learning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617110813.htm
Endocrine Society. "Adolescents' high-fat diet impairs memory and learning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617110813.htm (accessed April 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins