Docosahexaenoic acid confers enduring neuroprotection in experimental stroke

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Recently we demonstrated that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is highly neuroprotective when animals were allowed to survive during one week. This study was conducted to establish whether the neuroprotection induced by DHA persists with chronic survival. Sprague-Dawley rats underwent 2 h of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) and treated with DHA or saline at 3 h after MCAo. Animals received neurobehavioral examination (composite neuroscore, rota-rod, beam walking and Y maze tests) followed by ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging and histopathology at 3 weeks. DHA improved composite neurologic score beginning on day 1 by 20%, which persisted throughout weeks 1-3 by 24-41% compared to the saline-treated group. DHA prolonged the latency in rota-rod on weeks 2-3 by 162-178%, enhanced balance performance in the beam walking test on weeks 1 and 2 by 42-51%, and decreased the number of entries in the Y maze test by 51% and spontaneous alteration by 53% on week 2 compared to the saline-treated group. DHA treatment reduced tissue loss (computed from T2-weighted images) by 24% and total and cortical infarct volumes by 46% and 54% compared to the saline-treated group. These results show that DHA confers enduring ischemic neuroprotection. © 2013 The Authors.




Hong, S. H., Belayev, L., Khoutorova, L., Obenaus, A., & Bazan, N. G. (2014). Docosahexaenoic acid confers enduring neuroprotection in experimental stroke. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 338(1–2), 135–141.

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