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Front. Cell. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00439

Influence of high-fat diets consumed during the juvenile period on hippocampal morphology and function

 NURIA DEL OLMO1* and Mariano Ruiz Gayo1*
  • 1Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Spain

The negative impact of obesity on neurocognitive functioning is an issue of increasing clinical interest. Over the last decade, a number of studies have analyzed the influence of high-fat diets (HFDs) on cognitive performance, particularly in adolescent individuals. Different approaches, including behavioral, neurochemical, electrophysiological, and morphological studies, have been developed to address the effect of HFDs on neural processes interfering with learning and memory skills in rodents. Many of the studies have focused on learning and memory related to the hippocampus and the mechanisms underlying these processes. The goal of the current review is to highlight the relationship between hippocampal learning/memory deficits and nutritional/endocrine inputs derived from HFDs consumption, with a special emphasis on research showing the effect of HFDs intake during the juvenile period. We have also reviewed recent research regarding the effect of HFDs on hippocampal neurotransmission. An overview of research suggesting the involvement of fatty acid receptor-mediated signaling pathways in memory deficits triggered by HFDs is also provided. Finally, the role of leptin and HFD-evoked hyperleptinemia is discussed.

Keywords: Learning, Memory, Hippocampus, High-fat (HF) diet, Obesity, Leptin

Received: 17 Jul 2018; Accepted: 05 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Marco Mainardi, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy

Reviewed by:

Xiao-Dong Wang, Zhejiang University, China
Shauna L. Parkes, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France  

Copyright: © 2018 DEL OLMO and Ruiz Gayo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. NURIA DEL OLMO, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Madrid, Spain, nolmo@ceu.es
Dr. Mariano Ruiz Gayo, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Madrid, Spain, ruygayo@ceu.es