Buttermilk and Krill Oil Phospholipids Improve Hippocampal Insulin Resistance and Synaptic Signaling in Aged Rats

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Impaired glucose metabolism and mitochondrial decay greatly increase with age, when cognitive decline becomes rampant. No pharmacological or dietary intervention has proven effective, but proper diet and lifestyle do postpone the onset of neurodegeneration and some nutrients are being investigated. We studied insulin signaling, mitochondrial activity and biogenesis, and synaptic signaling in the hippocampus and cortex following dietary supplementation with bioactive phospholipid concentrates of krill oil (KOC), buttermilk fat globule membranes (BMFC), and a combination of both in aged rats. After 3 months of supplementation, although all groups of animals showed clear signs of peripheral insulin resistance, the combination of KOC and BMFC was able to improve peripheral insulin sensitivity. We also explored brain energy balance. Interestingly, the hippocampus of supplemented rats—mainly when supplemented with BMFC or the combination of KOC and BMFC—showed an increase in intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, whereas no difference was observed in the cerebral cortex. Moreover, we found a significant increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus of BMFC+KO animals. In summary, dietary supplementation with KOC and/or BMFC improves peripheral and central insulin resistance, suggesting that their administration could delay the onset of these phenomena. Moreover, n-3 fatty acids (FAs) ingested as phospholipids increase BDNF levels favoring an improvement in energy state within neurons and facilitating both mitochondrial and protein synthesis, which are necessary for synaptic plasticity. Thus, dietary supplementation with n-3 FAs could protect local protein synthesis and energy balance within dendrites, favoring neuronal health and delaying cognitive decline associated to age-related disrepair.


  • Joao Tomé-Carneiro
  • M. Carmen Crespo
  • Emma Burgos-Ramos
  • Cristina Tomas-Zapico
  • Alba García-Serrano
  • Pilar Castro-Gómez
  • Cesar Venero
  • Inmaculada Pereda-Pérez
  • Shishir Baliyan
  • Azucena Valencia
  • Javier Fontecha
  • Alberto Dávalos
  • Francesco Visioli
Externa organisationer
  • Autonomous University of Madrid

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Endokrinologi och diabetes
  • Näringslära


Sidor (från-till)7285-7296
Antal sidor12
TidskriftMolecular Neurobiology
Utgåva nummer9
StatusPublished - 2018 sep 1
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa