Time-course study of high fat diet induced alterations in spatial memory, hippocampal JNK, P38, ERK and Akt activity

  • Zahra Abbasnejad
  • Behzad Nasseri
  • Homeira Zardooz
  • Rasoul GhasemiEmail author
Original Article


Consumption of high fat diet (HFD) is a health concern in modern societies, which participate in wide range of diseases. One underlying mechanism in the HFD mediated pathologies is disruption of insulin signaling activity. It is believed that HFD activates several stress signaling molecules such as MAPKs signaling pathway and these molecules participate in harmful effects in different cell populations including hippocampal cells. However, the activity of MAPKs signaling molecules are time dependent, even causing some opposing effects. Given that, MAPKs activity fluctuate with time of stress, there is less cleared how different lengths of HFD consumption can affect hippocampal MAPK. To test how duration of HFD consumption affect hippocampal MAPKs and insulin signaling activity and animal’s cognitive function, rats were fed with HFD for different lengths (up to 6 months) and after each point spatial memory performances of animals was tested, then the peripheral indices of insulin resistance and hippocampal MAPKs and insulin signaling activity was evaluated. Results showed that while different time courses of HFD, up to 6 months, did not bring about significant spatial memory impairment, meanwhile the peripheral insulin sensitivity as well as hippocampal insulin and MAPKs signaling showed significant fluctuations during the different time courses of high fat diet regime. These results showed that neuronal responses to HFD is not constant and differ in a time-dependent manner, it seems that in acute phase molecular responses aimed to compensate the HFD stress but in chronic states these responses failed and devastating effects of stress began.


High-fat diet Insulin resistance MAPKs Akt Spatial memory 



This article has been extracted from the thesis written by Mrs. “Zahra Abbasnejad” in School of Medicine Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences Tehran, Iran (Registration No: 432).

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuroscience Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Neurophysiology Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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