Since late 2016 we have entered the age of disclosures! Fasten your mental safety belt and enjoy the ride! Heretic

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Diet high in fat and sugar - neural damage in mice

A recent PhD project  of Aberdeen University, using insulin insensitivity and obesity inducing diet diet high in fat and sugar, is finding neurological problems in mice.

Note: see at the end, how it was reported in the media!

Deep-fried Mars bars (wiki)
A Targeted Brain Proteomic Study Linking Diet, Ageing and Cognition

Supervisors: Dr Lynda Williams, Dr Rosamund Langston (University of Dundee) and Dr Fiona Campbell

We have recently identified that the gene serpinA3n encoding the acute phase protein alpha-1 antichymotrypsin (aACT) is up-regulated by a diet   
high in saturated fat and sugar   in the hypothalamus and hippocampus of the brain in a widely used mouse model of diet induced obesity and insulin insensitivity (1). Insulin insensitivity and neuronal inflammation are related to cognitive decline. SerpinA3n gene expression also increases with age in mice (Williams et al unpublished results). The function of the protein aACT in the brain has not been completely elucidated but aACT is known to form complexes with apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and protein amyloid β and is an integral component of the plaques found in Alzheimer's disease (2). 

The present project seeks to investigate the role of aACT in the rodent brain. The fate and function of aACT in the brain will be identified using a targeted proteomic approach including co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectroscopy. Hippocampus-dependent memory function will be correlated with brain inflammation and aACT levels using behavioural measures of episodic memory in rodents to investigate the relationship between age, diet, inflammation and cognition.



1. Winzell, MS, Ahren, B: The High-Fat Diet-Fed Mouse: a Model of Studying Mechanisms and Treatment of Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes 53 Suppl 3: 5215-5219, 2004.

2. Potter, H, Wefes, IM, Nilsson, LN: The Inflammation-Induced Pathological Chaperones ACT and apo-E are Necessary Catalysts of Alzheimer Amyloid Formation. Neurobiol Aging 22: 923-930, 2001

This is how that was reported in the media (I hope you have have fun reading it!):

High-fat diet can damage brain

Fatty Food Might Cause Brain Damage, Suggests Research

Fatty food can lead to brain damage new research shows


LeonRover said...

For about 5 seconds I thought the wiki pic showed deep-fried rodents.

So disappointing - I feel sure Alex Salmond would have approved.

Tony Mach said...

Plus, what did they actually feed these little bugars, when they write "saturated fat"?

Crisco? Somehow "saturated fat" seems to be a code-word in certain research circles for trans-fatty-acids…

Stan Bleszynski said...

Deep fried rodents would have been healthier. Now, that's an idea...

Stan Bleszynski said...

"Certain research circles" is a good expression. To see the wider problem with the scientific vocabulary (or perhaps with the "scientists" themselves), have a look at "Carbohydrates and cancer" conference (see the youtube link on the left hand side of thus blog). These people were capable of talking for an hour about insulin and cancer without uttering the forbidden word "carbohydrates". Until one in the audience pointed that out (thank you Dr.Feynman!).

dav0 said...

The deep fried mars bars are probably not too unhealthy since they are fried in veggie oil and not lard :-)

Stan Bleszynski said...

Yes dav0. Have you taken your lipitor yet? 8-:D

dav0 said...

Ooops! Due to a recent bout of TGA I've forgotten everything. What's Lipitor? Where am I? Where are my trousers?