A ketogenic diet reduces metabolic syndrome-induced allodynia and promotes peripheral nerve growth in mice

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Current experiments investigated whether a ketogenic diet impacts neuropathy associated with obesity and prediabetes. Mice challenged with a ketogenic diet were compared to mice fed a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet plus exercise. Additionally, an intervention switching to a ketogenic diet following 8weeks of high-fat diet was performed to compare how a control diet, exercise, or a ketogenic diet affects metabolic syndrome-induced neural complications. When challenged with a ketogenic diet, mice had reduced bodyweight and fat mass compared to high-fat-fed mice, and were similar to exercised, high-fat-fed mice. High-fat-fed, exercised and ketogenic-fed mice had mildly elevated blood glucose; conversely, ketogenic diet-fed mice were unique in having reduced serum insulin levels. Ketogenic diet-fed mice never developed mechanical allodynia contrary to mice fed a high-fat diet. Ketogenic diet fed mice also had increased epidermal axon density compared all other groups. When a ketogenic diet was used as an intervention, a ketogenic diet was unable to reverse high-fat fed-induced metabolic changes but was able to significantly reverse a high-fat diet-induced mechanical allodynia. As an intervention, a ketogenic diet also increased epidermal axon density. In vitro studies revealed increased neurite outgrowth in sensory neurons from mice fed a ketogenic diet and in neurons from normal diet-fed mice given ketone bodies in the culture medium. These results suggest a ketogenic diet can prevent certain complications of prediabetes and provides significant benefits to peripheral axons and sensory dysfunction.HIGHLIGHTSA ketogenic diet can reverse high-fat-induced mechanical allodynia.Peripheral nerves are sensitive to metabolic change that may not mirror systemic metabolism.A ketogenic diet and ketones stimulate sensory axon growth in vitro and in vivo.

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