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Effect of dietary fish oil supplementation on the exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial memory of the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate

Abstract : The data are inconsistent about the ability of dietary omega-3 fatty acids to prevent age-associated cognitive decline. Indeed, most clinical trials have failed to demonstrate a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids against cognitive decline, and methodological issues are still under debate. In contrast to human studies, experiments performed in adult rodents clearly indicate that omega-3 fatty acids supplement can improve behavioural and cognitive functions. The inconsistent observations between human and rodent studies highlight the importance of the use of non-human primate models. The aim of the present study was to address the impact of omega-3 fatty acids (given in the form of dietary fish oil) on exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial reference memory in the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate. Aged animals fed fish oil exhibited decreased exploratory activity, as manifested by an increase in the latency to move and a reduced distance travelled in an open-field. The fish oil-supplemented animals exhibited no change in the anxiety level, but they were more reactive to go into the dark arms of a light/dark plus-maze. In addition, we found that fish oil supplementation did not significantly improve the spatial memory performance in the Barnes maze task. This study demonstrated for the first time that a fish oil diet initiated late in life specifically modifies the exploratory behaviour without improving the spatial memory of aged non-human primates. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be effective when started early in life but less effective when started at later ages.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-02291936
Contributor : Fabienne Aujard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 12:30:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 10:38:03 AM

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Solène Languille, Fabienne Aujard, Fabien Pifferi. Effect of dietary fish oil supplementation on the exploratory activity, emotional status and spatial memory of the aged mouse lemur, a non-human primate. Behavioural Brain Research, Elsevier, 2012, 235 (2), pp.280-286. ⟨10.1016/j.bbr.2012.08.014⟩. ⟨mnhn-02291936⟩

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