BACKGROUND: Supplementation with complex milk lipids (CML) during postnatal brain development has been shown to improve spatial reference learning in rats.
OBJECTIVE: The current study examined histo-biological changes in the brain following CML supplementation and their relationship to the observed improvements in memory.
DESIGN: The study used the brain tissues from the rats (male Wistar, 80 days of age) after supplementing with either CML or vehicle during postnatal day 10-80. Immunohistochemical staining of synaptophysin, glutamate receptor-1, myelin basic protein, isolectin B-4, and glial fibrillary acidic protein was performed. The average area and the density of the staining and the numbers of astrocytes and capillaries were assessed and analysed.
RESULTS: Compared with control rats, CML supplementation increased the average area of synaptophysin staining and the number of GFAP astrocytes in the CA3 sub-region of the hippocampus (p
CONCLUSION: CML supplementation may enhance neuroplasticity in the CA3 sub-regions of the hippocampus. The brain regions-specific increase of astrocyte may indicate a supporting role for GFAP in synaptic plasticity. CML supplementation did not associate with postnatal white matter development or vascular remodelling.
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