Effects of docosahexaenoic acid on learning and memory impairment induced by repeated propofol anesthesia in young rats.
Exp Ther Med. 2016 Apr ;11(4):1493-1498. Epub 2016 Feb 16. PMID: 27073471
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on the learning and memory ability of young rats exposed to propofol, and its underlying mechanisms. Sprague Dawley rats (n=60) were randomly divided into six groups: Control group (group A); solvent control group (group B); propofol group (group C); low-dose DHA + propofol group (group D); medium dose DHA + propofol group (group E); and high-dose DHA + propofol group (group F). The Morris water maze (MWM) test was performed to evaluate the rats' learning and memory ability, and tissue samples from the hippocampi of the rats were obtained for biochemical analysis. The results of the MWM test revealed that DHA supplementation administered to young rats led to an evident decrease in the latency to find the maze platform, and a significant increase in the number of platform crossings in groups E and F compared with group C (P<0.05). High-performance liquid chromatography indicated that glutamate concentration levels were significantly lower andγ-aminobutyric acid concentration levels were significantly higher in the hippocampi of group E and F rats treated with DHA compared with group C rats (P<0.05). Furthermore, DHA treatment alleviated the decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels (P<0.05), and superoxide dismutase (P<0.05) and glutathione peroxidase (P<0.05) activities induced by the administration of propofol. Additionally, DHA treatment decreased malondialdehyde levels in the hippocampi of rats (P<0.05). The aforementioned findings demonstrate that DHA was able to effectively improve learning and memory dysfunction induced by repeated propofol-induced anesthesia in young rats. This data suggests that DHA may be a potential candidate for further preclinical studies aimed at treating postoperative cognitive dysfunction.