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Home » Archive » 2017

TDK conference 2017

The effect of different carbohydrate feeding on the synaptic organization of the rat hippocampus
Markevicius Edgaras Vytautas - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Anatomy and Histology andDepartment Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisors: Dr. Bence Rácz, Dr. József Zsigmond Szabó

Abstract:

Energy balance is crucial for survival, but excessive energy intake may compromise health; it can also lead to cognitive deficits. Recent evidence suggests that different carbohydrate sources have different biological and metabolic properties, and they may influence cognitive function, implying synaptic plasticity in brain areas not directly linked to metabolic regulation.

Fructose has been shown to cause impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial learning, and its overfeeding can lead to cognitive dysfunction but it remains unclear what changes in the hippocampal neuropil may underlie the observed cognitive impairment. This thesis is searching for an answer whether different carbohydrate sources may significantly influence the neural organization of the hippocampus.

Using a fructose-feeding protocol, we studied the synaptic neuropil of CA1 hippocampus using quantitative electron microscopy. We focused our study on the CA1 field, as it is known for its importance in the storage and retrieval of long-term memory. We analyzed the density, size, morphology and internal structure of asymmetric spine synapses of excitatory synaptic connections in the CA1 region. Our findings revealed previously unrecognized but subtle structural changes within dendritic spines as a function of fructose feeding, and suggest that the hippocampal synaptic neuropil is indeed sensitive to changes in carbohydrate balance, supporting a link between metabolic balance and cognitive functions.

The Project is supported by the European Union and co-financed by the European Social Fund (grant agreement no. EFOP-3.6.2- 16-2017-00012, project title: Development of a product chain model for functional, healthy and safe foods from farm to fork based on a thematic research network)”



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