At a population level, dietary consumption of fish rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with prevention of cognitive decline but this association is not clear in carriers of the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele (E4). Plasma and liver DHA concentrations show significant alterations in E4 carriers, in part corrected by DHA supplementation. However, whether DHA sufficiency in E4 carriers has consequences on cognition is unknown. Mice expressing human E4 or apolipoprotein E epsilon 3 allele (E3) were fed either a control diet or a diet containing DHA for 8 months and cognitive performance was tested using the object recognition test and the Barnes maze test. In E4 mice fed the control diet, impaired memory was detected and arachidonic acid concentrations were elevated in the hippocampus compared to E3 mice fed the control diet. DHA consumption prevented memory decline and restored arachidonic acid concentrations in the hippocampus of E4 mice. Our results suggest that long-term high-dose DHA intake may prevent cognitive decline in E4 carriers.
Neurobiology of Aging – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2017
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