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Ω-3 fatty acid-deficient diet in gestation induce depressive-like behaviors in rats: role of hypothalamo-pituitary–adrenal (HPA) system

Abstract

Low intake of omega-3 (Ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with postpartum depression. DHA deficiency is accompanied by impaired attention and cognition, and will precipitate psychiatric symptoms. However, the effects of dietary DHA on postpartum depression remain unclear. We established a normal pregnancy model to evaluate whether Ω-3 PUFAs-deficient dietary in gestation could induce depressive-like behavior and aggravate dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis in rats. A between-groups design was used to assess the effects of Ω-3 PUFAs content (deficiency, control and supplementary) and reproductive status (virgin or parous). We assessed depressive-like behavior and measured the fatty acid composition in liver. The protein expressions of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocoricoid receptor (MCR) were also measured to evaluate the HPA activity. Exposure to the Ω-3 PUFAs-deficient diet resulted in an increased immobility time in the forced swimming test (FST). Additionally, our results firstly showed the decreased expression of GR in the hippocampus of parous rats that exposed to Ω-3 PUFAs deficiency diets, which may partly facilitated hyperactivity of HPA axis and exert detrimental effect. Moreover, the reduction of GR was ameliorated by Ω-3 PUFAs supplementary, providing new evidence for the Ω-3 PUFAs in the progression of postpartum depression.

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2017, accepted on 17 May 2018 and first published on 17 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7FO01714F
Citation: Food Funct., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Ω-3 fatty acid-deficient diet in gestation induce depressive-like behaviors in rats: role of hypothalamo-pituitary–adrenal (HPA) system

    M. Tang, Y. Liu, L. Wang, H. Li, H. Cai, M. Zhang, R. Dang, Y. Xue and Y. Wu, Food Funct., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7FO01714F

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