Author(s): Touyarot K, Bonhomme D, Roux P, Alfos S, Lafentre P,
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Abstract Age-related memory decline including spatial reference memory is considered to begin at middle-age and coincides with reduced adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Moreover, a dysfunction of vitamin A hippocampal signalling pathway has been involved in the appearance of age-related memory deficits but also in adult hippocampal neurogenesis alterations. The present study aims at testing the hypothesis that a mid-life vitamin A supplementation would be a successful strategy to prevent age-related memory deficits. Thus, middle-aged Wistar rats were submitted to a vitamin A enriched diet and were tested 4 months later in a spatial memory task. In order to better understand the potential mechanisms mediating the effects of vitamin A supplementation on hippocampal functions, we studied different aspects of hippocampal adult neurogenesis and evaluated hippocampal CRABP-I expression, known to modulate differentiation processes. Here, we show that vitamin A supplementation from middle-age enhances spatial memory and improves the dendritic arborisation of newborn immature neurons probably resulting in a better survival and neuronal differentiation in aged rats. Moreover, our results suggest that hippocampal CRABP-I expression which controls the intracellular availability of retinoic acid (RA), may be an important regulator of neuronal differentiation processes in the aged hippocampus. Thus, vitamin A supplementation from middle-age could be a good strategy to maintain hippocampal plasticity and functions.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy