Intermittent Fasting Pretreatment Prevents Cognitive Impairment in a Rat Model of Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion.
J Nutr. 2017 May 17. Epub 2017 May 17. PMID: 28515159
Background: Whether intermittent fasting (IF) pretreatment can prevent vascular cognitive dysfunction remains unknown to our knowledge.Objective: We investigated the effects and underlying mechanisms of IF pretreatment on cognitive dysfunction in a permanent 2-vessel occlusion (2VO) vascular dementia rat model.Methods: Male Wistar rats weighing 200 g were subjected to either IF or ad libitum feeding for 12 wk before 2VO surgery. Rats in the IF protocol underwent alternative-day feed deprivation (FD). Memory of the animals was assessed by using the Morris water maze (MWM) and the novel object recognition (NOR) test 6 wk after the surgery. After behavioral testing, malondialdehyde and glutathione concentrations, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, gene expression of antioxidative enzymes, inflammatory protein concentrations, and microglia density were determined in the hippocampus of rats.Results: 2-vessel occlusion operation ad libitum (2VO-AL) rats had significantly longer escape latencies on day 4 of the training phase and spent a lower percentage of time in the target quadrant (25% compared with 38% and 41%) in the MWM, and had lower discrimination ratios (47% compared with 65% and 67%) in the NOR test than 2-vessel operation and alternate-day feed deprivation (2VO-FD) and sham operation ad libitum (Sham-AL) rats, respectively (P<0.05). This indicates that IF helps to prevent vascular cognitive deficits. 2VO-AL rats also had higher malondialdehyde (3.54 compared with 2.15 and 1.66 nmol/mg protein) and lower glutathione concentrations (53.25 compared with 66.41 and 91.71 nmol/mg protein), lower SOD activity (100.1 compared with 133.3 and 138.5 U/mg protein), lower gene expression of antioxidative enzymes, higher expression of inflammatory proteins, and higher microglia density in the hippocampus than 2VO-FD and Sham-AL rats, respectively (P<0.05). This suggests that IF has antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.Conclusions: IF pretreatment provided sustained neuroprotection in a rat model of vascular dementia. These effects were associated with reduced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation.