Effect of Two Medium Chain Triglycerides-Supplemented Diets on Synaptic Morphology in the Cerebellar Cortex of Late-Adult Rats

Microsc Res Tech. 2009 Dec;72(12):933-8. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20737.


Ketogenic diets (KDs) have shown beneficial effects in experimental models of neurodegeneration, designating aged individuals as possible recipients. However, few studies have investigated their consequences on aging brain. Here, late-adult rats (19 months of age) were fed for 8 weeks with two medium chain triglycerides-supplemented diets (MCT-SDs) and the average area (S), numeric density (Nv(s)), and surface density (S(v)) of synapses, as well as the average volume (V), numeric density (Nv(m)), and volume density (V(v)) of synaptic mitochondria were evaluated in granule cell layer of the cerebellar cortex (GCL-CCx) by computer-assisted morphometric methods. MCT content was 10 or 20%. About 10%MCT-SD induced the early appearance of senescent patterns (decreased Nv(s) and Nv(m); increased V), whereas 20%MCT-SD caused no changes. Recently, we have shown that both MCT-SDs accelerate aging in the stratum moleculare of CA1 (SM CA1), but are "antiaging" in the outer molecular layer of dentate gyrus (OML DG). Since GCL-CCx is more vulnerable to age than OML DG but less than SM CA1, present and previous results suggest that the effects of MCT-SDs in the aging brain critically depend on neuronal vulnerability to age, besides MCT percentage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biometry / methods
  • Cerebellar Cortex / pathology*
  • Diet / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission / methods
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*
  • Triglycerides / administration & dosage*


  • Triglycerides