Fish oil supplementation associated with decreased cellular degeneration and increased cellular proliferation 6 weeks after middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat Academic Article uri icon


  • Anti-inflammatory long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3-LC-PUFAs) are both neuroprotective and have antidepressive effects. However the influence of dietary supplemented n-3-LC-PUFAs on inflammation-related cell death and proliferation after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo)-induced stroke is unknown. We have previously demonstrated that anxiety-like and hyperactive locomotor behaviors are reduced in n-3-LC-PUFA-fed MCAo animals. Thus in the present study, male hooded Wistar rats were exposed to MCAo or sham surgeries and examined behaviorally 6 weeks later, prior to euthanasia and examination of lesion size, cell death and proliferation in the dentate gyrus, cornu ammonis region of the hippocampus of the ipsilesional hemispheres, and the thalamus of the ipsilesional and contralesional hemispheres. Markers of cell genesis and cell degeneration in the hippocampus or thalamus of the ipsilesional hemisphere did not differ between surgery and diet groups 6 weeks post MCAo. Dietary supplementation with n-3-LC-PUFA decreased cell degeneration and increased cell proliferation in the thalamic region of the contralesional hemisphere. MCAo-associated cell degeneration in the hippocampus and thalamus positively correlated with anxiety-like and hyperactive locomotor behaviors previously reported in these animals. These results suggest that anti-inflammatory n-3-LC-PUFA supplementation appears to have cellular protective effects after MCAo in the rat, which may affect behavioral outcomes.

publication date

  • 2015