Food restriction attenuates ischemia-induced spatial learning and memory deficits despite extensive CA1 ischemic injury.Behav Brain Res. 2008 Feb 11; 187(1):123-32.BB
The purpose of the present study was to examine whether short-term food restriction (40% less food over a 3-month period) can attenuate ischemia-induced CA1 neuronal degeneration, and whether this attenuation translated into improved recovery of functional impairments following global ischemia. There was a significant loss of pyramidal CA1 neurons in ischemic compared to sham-operated rats but no difference between the ad lib and food-restricted ischemic animals. Although the diet did not influence neuronal damage in ischemic animals, the performance of food-restricted ischemic rats in spatial task such as the radial arm maze was significantly better than that of ad lib fed ischemic rats. Food-restricted ischemic rats made equivalent numbers of working memory errors as sham-operated animals and took the same time to complete a standard 8-arm radial arm maze task. They also displayed higher activity level in the open field compared to ad libitum fed ischemic rats, and spent considerably more time in the open arms of the elevated plus maze compared to the other groups, suggesting decreased anxiety in these ischemic rats. The relative sparing of spatial memory performance in food-restricted ischemic animals suggests that food restriction facilitates functional recovery.