Effect of chronic administration of arachidonic acid on the performance of learning and memory in aged rats

  • Takayuki Inoue
  • Michio Hashimoto
  • Masanori Katakura
  • Shahdat Hossain
  • Kentaro Matsuzaki
  • Osamu Shido
Keywords: arachidonic acid; spatial learning, senescent, reference and working memory, radial maze.


Background: Arachidonic acid (AA, C20:4, ω-6) is a ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and plays diverse roles in cell signaling. Numerous reports on the effects of ω-3 PUFAs, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, ω-3) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5, ω-3) on learning and memory impairments of rats are available, however, the role of AA on brain cognition is largely unknown.

Objective: In this study, our aim was to investigate the effect of oral administration of AA on spatial memory- related learning ability in aged (100 weeks) male rats.

Design: One group was per orally administered 240 mg/kg per day AA oil and the other group was administered the similar volume of control oil. Five weeks after the start of the administration, rats were tested with the partially baited eight-arm radial maze to evaluate two types of spatial memory-related learning ability displayed by reference memory errors (RMEs) and working memory errors (WMEs). Also, the time required to complete the task was recorded. The levels of lipid peroxide (LPO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured, as an indicator oxidative stress in the plasma and brain corticohippocampal brain tissues.

Results: The scores of RMEs and WMEs, which are analogous to long-term and short-term memory, respectively, were not affected, however, the trial time was shorter in the AA-administered rats than that of the controls. AA also significantly increased the degree of oxidative stress both in the plasma and corticohippocampal brain tissues.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that though AA deposition in the corticohippocampal tissues of senescent rats caused a faster performance activity, which is reminiscent to hyperactive behavior of animals, the spatial learning ability-related memory of the rats, however, was not improved.


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How to Cite
Inoue T., Hashimoto M., Katakura M., Hossain S., Matsuzaki K., & Shido O. (2019). Effect of chronic administration of arachidonic acid on the performance of learning and memory in aged rats. Food & Nutrition Research, 63. https://doi.org/10.29219/fnr.v63.1441
Original Articles