Dietary Cytidine (5')-diphosphocholine Supplementation Protects Against Development of Memory Deficits in Aging Rats

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Jun;27(4):711-7. doi: 10.1016/S0278-5846(03)00086-1.


The present study was designed to assess the effect of supplementation with dietary cytidine (5')-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline), a source of cytidine and choline, on memory in young and older rats. Although the hippocampal-dependent memory deficits in aged rats are well documented, cognitive functioning in early aging has not been as thoroughly evaluated. Female Sprague-Dawley rats (3 or 15 months of age) consumed either a control diet or a diet supplemented with CDP-choline (approximately 500 mg/kg/day) for 8 weeks, after which they were trained to perform spatial and cued versions of the Morris water maze. Compared with young rats, aged rats exhibited a selective deficit in spatial memory tasks that required rats to retain information for 24 h or longer. CDP-choline supplementation protected against the development of this deficit, but had no memory-enhancing effect in normal young rats. These findings suggest that early-aged rats display a selective impairment in hippocampal-dependent long-term memory, and that dietary CDP-choline supplementation can protect against this deficit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / administration & dosage
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / pharmacology*
  • Diet
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Nootropic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline