Maternal intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids improves long term potentiation in the dentate gyrus and Morris water maze performance in rats

Kavraal S., Oncu S. K. , Bitiktaş S. , Artis A. S. , Dolu N. , GÜNEŞ T. , ...More

BRAIN RESEARCH, vol.1482, pp.32-39, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1482
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.09.002
  • Title of Journal : BRAIN RESEARCH
  • Page Numbers: pp.32-39


Omega-3 fatty acid deprivation during development reduces performance in learning tasks, and dietary DHA supplementation improves learning ability and enhances long term memory in both young and old animals. However, little attention has been paid to the effect of maternal intake of Omega-3 fatty acids on hippocampal function in their pups. Randomly some of the pregnant dams were supplemented with Omega-3 essential fatty acid, others with tap-water, during pregnancy and breast-feeding by gavage daily. Spatial learning and memory was tested in Morris water maze. Field potentials from the dentate gyrus were recorded in response to medial perforant pathway in urethane-anesthetized pups. Omega-3-treated rats found the platform less traveled and closer to platform than control animals. However the pups from both groups show the same performance in retrieval task. No differences were found between corresponding animal groups in the input-output curves of the field potential slopes, suggesting no effect of Omega-3 supplementation on basal synaptic efficacy. Potentiation of population spike amplitude was much higher in pups of Omega-3 treated dams than control. Up to now Omega 3 fatty acid has been shown to be beneficial on the synaptic plasticity only under some pathological conditions. For the first time, we showed improved dentate gyrus-LTP and enhanced Morris water maze performance in healthy pups from healthy dams treated with Omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and breast-feeding period. Molecular studies are needed to explain Omega-3 effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.