Role of astaxanthin in the modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and spatial learning behavior in perinatally undernourished Wistar rats.

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Nutr Neurosci




Maternal health and nutrition during the perinatal period is the predominant factor influencing the functional development of the brain. Maternal malnutrition during the perinatal period causes retardation of brain development. The current study investigates the role of Astaxanthin (AsX) in spatial learning and memory and BDNF in perinatally undernourished Wistar rats. The albino wistar rats were perinatally undernourished and administered with different dosages of AsX. The spatial learning and memory performance and BDNF level were assessed. Data were collected and analysed. The % Correct choice during the acquisition phase, performance at the end of the acquisition phase and the mean BDNF level at the Hippocampus, Cerebellum, and Cerebral cortex showed significant decline (P<0.001) in the PUN group and significantly high (P<0.001) in the PUNA2 group compared to the control. However, the mean RME and mean WME during different days of the acquisition phase were significantly high (P<0.001) in the PUN group and insignificant (P>0.05) in PUNA2 compared to the control. The results showed that AsX effectively modulated the cognitive deficit that occurred in perinatally undernourished rats. This can be attributed to BDNF upregulation as evidenced by the significant increase of the BDNF level.