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!
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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 SerpinA3n gene expression also increases with age in mice (Williams et al unpublished results).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