Olive oil-enriched diet reduces brain oxidative damages and ameliorates neurotrophic factor gene expression in different life stages of rats

J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Nov;26(11):1200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.05.013. Epub 2015 Jun 20.


Our aim was to assess the influence of maternal diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids on oxidative and molecular parameters in brains of mouse pups as well as their body weight during their lifetime. Female rats received a diet containing 20% of olive oil-enriched diet (OOED) and a standard diet control diet (CD) in different periods: pregnancy, lactation and after weaning until pups' adulthood. On the last prenatal day (Group 1), embryos from OOED group showed smaller body weight, brain weight and lower levels of sulphydryl groups glutathione reduced (GSH) in the brain. On postnatal delay-21 (PND21) (Group 2), pups from OOED group showed higher body weight and brain weight, reduced brain weight/body weight ratio and lower brain lipid peroxidation (LP). On PND70 (Group 3), pups from OOED group showed lower brain LP and higher levels of GSH in prefrontal cortex and lower brain levels of reactive species in the hippocampus. Interestingly, the group of animals whose diet was modified from OOED to CD on PND21 showed greater weight gain compared to the group that remained in the same original diet (OOED) until adulthood. Furthermore, OOED consumption during pregnancy and lactation significantly increased BDNF only, as well as its main transcripts exon IV and VI mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, OOED significantly up-regulated FGF-2 mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex. These findings open a pioneering line of investigation about dietary adjunctive therapeutic strategies and the potential of healthy dietary habits to prevent neonatal conditions and their influence on adulthood.

Keywords: Antioxidant components; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Fibroblast grown factor; Monounsaturated fatty acids; Olive oil-enriched diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Olive Oil / pharmacology*
  • Overweight / etiology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Olive Oil
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2