Similar to fasting, the ketogenic diet (KD) has anti-inflammatory effects and protects against excitotoxicity-mediated neuronal cell death. Recent studies have shown that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ has anti-inflammatory effects in seizure animal models. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory effects of the KD have not been determined for seizures. Here we investigated the effect of the KD and acetoacetate (AA) on neuroinflammation in a seizure animal model and glutamate-treated HT22 cells, respectively. Mice were fed the KD for 4 weeks and sacrificed 2 or 6h after KA injection. The KD reduced hippocampal tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels and nuclear factor (NF)-κB translocation into the nucleus 2h after KA treatment. KD-induced PPARγ activation was decreased by KA in neurons as assessed by western blotting and immunofluorescence. Finally, the KD inhibited cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and microsomal prostaglandin E(2) synthase-1 (mPGES-1) expression in the hippocampus 6h after KA treatment. AA treatment also protected against glutamate-induced cell death in HT22 cells by reducing TNF-α and PPARγ-mediated COX-2 expression. Thus, the KD may inhibit neuroinflammation by suppressing a COX-2-dependent pathway via activation of PPARγ by the KD or AA.
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