Medical and Health Sciences
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are required for normal neural development and cognitive function and have been ascribed various beneficial functions. Recently, oral CLA also has been shown to increase testosterone (T) biosynthesis, which is known to diminish traumatic brain injury (TBI)-induced neuropathology and reduce deficits induced by stroke in adult rats. To test the impact of CLA on cognitive recovery following a TBI, 5–6 month old male Sprague Dawley rats received a focal injury (craniectomy + controlled cortical impact (CCI; n = 17)) or Sham injury (craniectomy alone; n = 12) and were injected with 25 mg/kg body weight of Clarinol® G-80 (80% CLA in safflower oil; n = 16) or saline (n = 13) every 48 h for 4 weeks. Sham surgery decreased baseline plasma progesterone (P4) by 64.2% (from 9.5 ± 3.4 ng/mL to 3.4 ± 0.5 ng/mL; p = 0.068), T by 74.6% (from 5.9 ± 1.2 ng/mL to 1.5 ± 0.3 ng/mL; p < 0.05), 11-deoxycorticosterone (11-DOC) by 37.5% (from 289.3 ± 42.0 ng/mL to 180.7 ± 3.3 ng/mL), and corticosterone by 50.8% (from 195.1 ± 22.4 ng/mL to 95.9 ± 2.2 ng/mL), by post-surgery day 1. CCI injury induced similar declines in P4, T, 11-DOC and corticosterone (58.9%, 74.6%, 39.4% and 24.6%, respectively) by post-surgery day 1. These results suggest that both Sham surgery and CCI injury induce hypogonadism and hypoadrenalism in adult male rats. CLA treatment did not reverse hypogonadism in Sham (P4: 2.5 ± 1.0 ng/mL; T: 0.9 ± 0.2 ng/mL) or CCI-injured (P4: 2.2 ± 0.9 ng/mL; T: 1.0 ± 0.2 ng/mL, p > 0.05) animals by post-injury day 29, but rapidly reversed by post-injury day 1 the hypoadrenalism in Sham (11-DOC: 372.6 ± 36.6 ng/mL; corticosterone: 202.6 ± 15.6 ng/mL) and CCI-injured (11-DOC: 384.2 ± 101.3 ng/mL; corticosterone: 234.6 ± 43.8 ng/mL) animals. In Sham surgery animals, CLA did not alter body weight, but did markedly increase latency to find the hidden Morris Water Maze platform (40.3 ± 13.0 s) compared to saline treated Sham animals (8.8 ± 1.7 s). In CCI injured animals, CLA did not alter CCI-induced body weight loss, CCI-induced cystic infarct size, or deficits in rotarod performance. However, like Sham animals, CLA injections exacerbated the latency of CCI-injured rats to find the hidden MWM platform (66.8 ± 10.6 s) compared to CCI-injured rats treated with saline (30.7 ± 5.5 s, p < 0.05). These results indicate that chronic treatment of CLA at a dose of 25 mg/kg body weight in adult male rats over 1-month 1) does not reverse craniectomy- and craniectomy + CCI-induced hypogonadism, but does reverse craniectomy- and craniectomy + CCI-induced hypoadrenalism, 2) is detrimental to medium- and long-term spatial learning and memory in craniectomized uninjured rats, 3) limits cognitive recovery following a moderate-severe CCI injury, and 4) does not alter body weight.
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