In male rats with concurrent iron and (n-3) fatty acid deficiency, provision of either iron or (n-3) fatty acids alone alters monoamine metabolism and exacerbates the cognitive deficits associated with combined deficiency

Jeannine Baumgartner, Cornelius M Smuts, Linda Malan, Myrtha Arnold, Benjamin K Yee, Laura E Bianco, Mark V Boekschoten, Michael Müller, Wolfgang Langhans, Richard F Hurrell, Michael B Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Concurrent deficiencies of iron (Fe) (ID) and (n-3) fatty acids [(n-3)FAD)] in rats can alter brain monoamine pathways and impair learning and memory. We examined whether repletion with Fe and DHA/EPA, alone and in combination, corrects the deficits in brain monoamine activity (by measuring monoamines and related gene expression) and spatial working and reference memory [by Morris water maze (MWM) testing] associated with deficiency. Using a 2 × 2 design, male rats with concurrent ID and (n-3)FAD [ID+(n-3)FAD] were fed an Fe+DHA/EPA, Fe+(n-3)FAD, ID+DHA/EPA, or ID+(n-3)FAD diet for 5 wk [postnatal d 56-91]. Biochemical measures and MWM performance after repletion were compared to age-matched control rats. The provision of Fe in combination with DHA/EPA synergistically increased Fe concentrations in the olfactory bulb (OB) (Fe x DHA/EPA interaction). Similarly, provision of DHA/EPA in combination with Fe resulted in higher brain DHA concentrations than provision of DHA alone in the frontal cortex (FC) and OB (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1472-1478
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Brain
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Iron
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Memory Disorders
  • Phospholipids
  • Protein Array Analysis
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats

Cite this