Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction ameliorate age-related behavioral deficits in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Veerendra Kumar Madala Halagappa, Zhihong Guo, Michelle Pearson, Yasuji Matsuoka, Roy G. Cutler, Frank M. LaFerla, Mark P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive decline in cognitive function associated with the neuropathological hallmarks amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Because aging is the major risk factor for AD, and dietary energy restriction can retard aging processes in the brain, we tested the hypothesis that two different energy restriction regimens, 40% calorie restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF) can protect against cognitive decline in the triple-transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTgAD mice). Groups of 3xTgAD mice were maintained on an ad libitum control diet, or CR or IF diets, beginning at 3 months of age. Half of the mice in each diet group were subjected to behavioral testing (Morris swim task and open field apparatus) at 10 months of age and the other half at 17 months of age. At 10 months 3xTgAD mice on the control diet exhibited reduced exploratory activity compared to non-transgenic mice and to 3xTgAD mice on CR and IF diets. Overall, there were no major differences in performance in the water maze among genotypes or diets in 10-month-old mice. In 17-month-old 3xTgAD mice the CR and IF groups exhibited higher levels of exploratory behavior, and performed better in both the goal latency and probe trials of the swim task, compared to 3xTgAD mice on the control diet. 3xTgAD mice in the CR group showed lower levels of Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42 and phospho-tau in the hippocampus compared to the control diet group, whereas Aβ and phospho-tau levels were not decreased in 3xTgAD mice in the IF group. IF may therefore protect neurons against adverse effects of Aβ and tau pathologies on synaptic function. We conclude that CR and IF dietary regimens can ameliorate age-related deficits in cognitive function by mechanisms that may or may not be related to Aβ and tau pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-220
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amyloid
  • Caloric restriction
  • Hippocampus
  • Learning and memory
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology

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