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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #227624

Title: Dietary folate and choline status differentially affect lipid metabolism and behavior-mediated neurotransmitters in young rats

Author
item Crivello, N.a.
item Casseus, S.
item Blusztajn, J.k.
item Qiu, W.
item D'anci, K.
item Moorthy, D.
item Smith, D.
item Shukitt-hale, B.
item Joseph, J.
item Rosenberg, Irwin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2008
Publication Date: 9/10/2008
Citation: Crivello, N., Casseus, S., Blusztajn, J., Qiu, W., D'Anci, K., Moorthy, D., Smith, D., Shukitt-Hale, B., Joseph, J., Rosenberg, I. 2008. Dietary folate and choline status differentially affect lipid metabolism and behavior-mediated neurotransmitters in young rats. 38th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience Abstracts. Abstract No. 389.15.

Interpretive Summary: Choline and folate are important nutrients for brain functions and behavior. Present study was designed to investigate whether modification of the dietary folate-choline status in young rats would affect brain biochemistry and behavior. Forty male Sprague Dawley rats were maintained for ten weeks on folate sufficient or folate deficient diets with or without 2% choline. These experimental conditions resulted in severe folate depletion in the plasma and liver, and mild folate deficiency in the brain. Dietary folate deficiency alone significantly decreased concentration of negatively-charged fat in brain membranes, whereas the addition of supplemental choline alleviated this effect. Choline supplementation did not abolish the depletion of positively-charged fat in brain membranes, under folate deficient conditions. Dietary folate deficiency did not affect behavior, whereas dietary choline supplementation significantly improves cognitive functions.

Technical Abstract: The relationship between choline and folate metabolisms is an important issue due to the essential role of these nutrients in brain plasticity and cognitive functions. Present study was designed to investigate whether modification of the dietary folate-choline status in young rats would affect brain biochemistry and behavior. Forty male Sprague Dawley rats were maintained for ten weeks on folate sufficient or folate deficient diets with or without 2% choline. These experimental conditions resulted in severe folate depletion in the plasma and liver, and mild folate deficiency in the brain. Dietary folate deficiency alone significantly depleted negatively-charged phospholipids in the brain and liver, primarily due to the decrease in the phosphatidylserine levels, whereas the addition of supplemental choline alleviated these effects. Choline supplementation did not abolish the depletion of positively-charged choline-containing phospholipid, sphingomyelin, under folate deficient conditions. The increase in the ACh levels due to the high dietary choline status was associated with a lower release of striatal dopamine under folate deficiency. The differential effect of the dietary choline supplementation under folate deficiency on behavior-mediated neurotransmitters, acetylcholine and dopamine, was associated with improved cognitive performance in the Morris Water Maze. These results support a long-standing hypothesis of an antagonistic balance between dopamine and ACh and provide new insight on the role of the dietary modification of membrane negatively- and positively-charged phospholipids and their role in regulation of ACh and dopamine crosstalk.