Mitochondrial and Oxidative Stress Aspects in Hippocampus of Rats Submitted to Dietary n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Deficiency After Exposure to Early Stress
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Chronic dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) deficiency may lead to changes in cortex and hippocampus neuronal membrane phospholipids, and may be linked to impaired central nervous system function. Particularly docosahexaenoic acid deficiency appears to be involved in neuropsychiatric disorders. On the other hand, adverse events early in life may also profoundly affect brain development, leading to long-lasting effects on neurophysiology, neurobiology and behavior. This research assessed if neonatal stress and a dietary n-3 PUFAs deficiency could interact to produce hippocampal alterations related to mitochondrial functions in adult rats. There were no effects of diet, neonatal intervention or interactions on superoxide dismutase or catalase enzymatic activities, mitochondrial membrane potential and respiratory chain complexes. Rats fed n-3 PUFAs deficient diet displayed higher levels of glutathione peroxidase and catalase activity, higher free radicals production and higher thiol content compared to rats fed n-3 PUFAs adequate diet. There were interactions among diets and neonatal stress, since glutathione peroxidase, free radicals production and thiol content were increased in groups that were subjected to neonatal interventions fed n-3 PUFAs deficient diet. Additionally, reduced mitochondrial potential was observed in handled animals. Total thiol revealed a neonatal stress effect, since animals subjected to neonatal interventions displayed lower thiol content. In conclusion, we observed that a chronic treatment with deficient n-3 PUFAs diet, from the puberty period on, increased free radicals production and imbalanced antioxidant enzymes activities, and these increases were higher in animals subjected to neonatal interventions.
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