Intermittent Fasting Attenuates Increases in Neurogenesis After Ischemia and Reperfusion and Improves Recovery

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2014 May;34(5):897-905. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.36. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Abstract

Intermittent fasting (IF) is neuroprotective across a range of insults, but the question of whether extending the interval between meals alters neurogenesis after ischemia remains unexplored. We therefore measured cell proliferation, cell death, and neurogenesis after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) or sham surgery (SHAM) in mice fed ad libitum (AL) or maintained on IF for 3 months. IF was associated with twofold reductions in circulating levels of the adipocyte cytokine leptin in intact mice, but also prevented further reductions in leptin after MCAO. IF/MCAO mice also exhibit infarct volumes that were less than half those of AL/MCAO mice. We observed a 30% increase in basal cell proliferation in the hippocampus and subventricular zone (SVZ) in IF/SHAM, relative to AL/SHAM mice. However, cell proliferation after MCAO was limited in IF mice, which showed twofold increases in cell proliferation relative to IF/SHAM, whereas AL/MCAO mice exhibit fivefold increases relative to AL/SHAM. Attenuation of stroke-induced neurogenesis was correlated with reductions in cell death, with AL/MCAO mice exhibiting twice the number of dying cells relative to IF/MCAO mice. These observations indicate that IF protects against neurological damage in ischemic stroke, with circulating leptin as one possible mediator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / blood supply
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / blood
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / physiopathology*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Weight Loss

Substances

  • Leptin