Effects of n-3 PUFA enriched and n-3 PUFA deficient diets in naïve and Aβ-treated female rats

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Graphical abstractDepression is one of the most common psychiatric diseases and the prevalence of depressive symptoms in women is almost twice compared to men, although the reasons of this gender difference are not fully understood yet. Recently, soluble Aβ1–42 peptide has been receiving great importance in the development of depression, also since depression is highly comorbid with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative illnesses. Accordingly, we have previously shown that central Aβ injection is able to elicit depressive-like phenotype in male rats. In the present study, we reproduced for the first time the Aβ-induced depressive-like model in female rats, evaluating behavioural and neurochemical outcomes. Moreover, we studied the effect of lifelong exposure to either n-3 PUFA enriched or n-3 PUFA deficient diet, in female rats, both intact and after central Aβ administration. Our results confirmed the Aβ-induced depressive-like profile also in female rats. Moreover, chronic exposure to n-3 PUFA deficient diet led to highly negative alterations in behavioural and neurochemical parameters, while lifelong exposure to n-3 PUFA enriched diet was able to restore the Aβ-induced depressive-like profile in female rats. In conclusion, the Aβ-induced depressive-like profile was reversed by n-3 PUFA supplementation, indicating a possible therapeutic role of n-3 PUFA in the treatment of the burden of depressive disorders.

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