Brain changes in BDNF and S100B induced by ketogenic diets in Wistar rats

Life Sci. 2013 May 20;92(17-19):923-8. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Apr 1.


Aims: We investigated the effects of ketogenic diet (KD) on levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, a classical pro-inflammatory cytokine), BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, commonly associated with synaptic plasticity), and S100B, an astrocyte neurotrophic cytokine involved in metabolism regulation.

Main methods: Young Wistar rats were fed during 8weeks with control diet or two KD, containing different proportions of omega 6 and omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Contents of TNF-α, BDNF and S100B were measured by ELISA in two brain regions (hippocampus and striatum) as well as blood serum and cerebrospinal fluid.

Key findings: Our data suggest that KD was able to reduce the levels of BDNF in the striatum (but not in hippocampus) and S100B in the cerebrospinal fluid of rats. These alterations were not affected by the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids offered. No changes in S100B content were observed in serum or analyzed brain regions. Basal TNF-α content was not affected by KD.

Significance: These findings reinforce the importance of this diet as an inductor of alterations in the brain, and such changes might contribute to the understanding of the effects (and side effects) of KD in brain disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / administration & dosage
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein beta Subunit
  • S100 Proteins
  • S100b protein, rat
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha