Hyperbaric oxygen therapy restores cognitive function and hippocampal pathologies in both aging and aging-obese rats

Mech Ageing Dev. 2021 Apr:195:111465. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2021.111465. Epub 2021 Mar 1.


The population of obese-elderly has increased prominently around the world. Both aging and obesity are major factors of neurodegeneration. The present study hypothesizes that HBOT attenuates metabolic disturbance, cognitive decline, hippocampal pathologies in aging and aging-obese model. Sixty Wistar rats were separated into 2 groups to receive normal-diet (ND) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 22 weeks. At week 13, ND rats were divided into two subgroups to receive vehicle (0.9 % NSS, s.c) or d-gal (150 mg/kg/d, s.c) for total 10 weeks. HFD rats were injected only d-gal (150 mg/kg/d, s.c; HFDD) for total 10 weeks. At week 20, rats in each subgroup were given sham-treatment (1ATA, 80 L/min, 80 min/day), or HBOT (2ATA, pure O2, 250 L/min, 80 min/day) for 14 days. Novel object location test, metabolic parameters, and hippocampal pathologies were determined after HBOT. d-gal induced insulin resistance, increased oxidative stress, autophagy impairment, microglial hyperactivation, apoptosis, synaptic dysplasticity which resulted in cognitive impairment. d-gal-treated HFD-fed rats had the highest levels of oxidative stress, apoptosis, dendritic spine loss. HBOT attenuated insulin resistance, cognitive impairment, hippocampal aging and pathologies in both models. These findings suggest that HBOT restored insulin sensitivity, hippocampal functions, cognition in aging and aging-obese models.

Keywords: Aging; Autophagy; Cognition; HBOT; Microglia; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / metabolism
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / therapy
  • Hippocampus* / metabolism
  • Hippocampus* / pathology
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Obesity* / metabolism
  • Obesity* / psychology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Treatment Outcome