Effects of high-fat diet on the formation of depressive-like behavior in mice†
Depression is an important global health issue that is associated with serious physical and mental health consequences. The field of nutritional psychiatry has generated observational and efficacy data supporting a role for healthy dietary patterns in depression. Here, we aim to evaluate the effects of high-fat diet (HFD) consumption on depressive-like behaviors. BALB/c mice were grouped randomly: control, chronic restraint stress (CRS), HFD and CRS + HFD groups. The depressive-like behavior was evaluated using behavioral tests. The serotonin content in murine brain tissue and blood lipid concentrations were detected by ELISA. The fatty acid content in the liver, adipose tissue of epididymis, brain tissue, and serum of mice was determined by gas chromatography (GC). Expression of the fatty acid synthesis pathway-related enzymes at the mRNA level was analyzed by qRT-PCR. The results indicated that a high-fat diet could promote depressive-like behavior. In comparison with regular feeding, concentrations of blood lipids were significantly changed in the HFD group. Correlation analysis implied that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) were closely related to depressive-like behavior. Based on fatty acid analysis, the palmitoleic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and arachidonic acid content was remarkably changed in mice with depressive-like behavior. In addition, acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), and fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) expression, which are involved in de novo fatty acid synthesis, desaturation of fatty acids, and arachidonic acid synthesis, were strengthened in HFD mice with depressive-like behavior. Therefore, we postulated that the disorder of lipid metabolism induced by HFD consumption accelerated the development of depressive-like behavior.