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MOLZ, PATRÍCIA et al. Recognition memory and DNA damage in undernourished young rats. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.3, suppl., pp.1863-1873.  Epub Aug 04, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.

This study evaluated the recognition memory and the levels of DNA damage (blood and hippocampus) in undernourished young Wistar rats. The experiment was conducted along 14-week with rodents divided in control group (CG, n=8) and undernourished group (UG, n=12) which was submitted to caloric restriction. Nutritional status for undernutrition was defined by Body Mass Index (BMI) ≤0.45g/cm2 and by weighting the organs/tissue (liver, spleen, intestine, peritoneal fat, kidney and encephalon). The Novel Object Recognition Test assessed recognition memory and the Comet Assay evaluated the levels of DNA damage. Student t test, 2-way ANOVA and Pearson's correlation analysis were used and the significance level was of p<0.05. The UG showed lower BMI and organ/tissue weights than CG (p<0.001). In short-term memory, the recognition rate was higher in the UG (p<0.05), only after 4 weeks. In the long-term memory, again recognition rate was higher in the UG than the CG, after 4 weeks (p<0.001) and 14 weeks (p<0.01). The UG showed decreased levels of DNA damage in the blood (p<0.01) and increased levels in the hippocampus (p<0.01). We concluded in this study that the undernutrition by caloric restriction did not cause impairment in recognition memory, however induced DNA damage in the hippocampus.

Keywords : DNA damage; memory; nutritional status; undernutrition; Wistar rats.

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