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SSA could not be possible without the generous support of Drs. Herbert A. and Betty Lou Lubs and the Science, Society, and the Arts Research Conference Endowment. We are deeply grateful!
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Friday, March 17 • 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Easel 15: Western-Style Diet Differentially Impacts Neuroanatomy of Female and Male Rats

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Studies demonstrating associations between diet-induced obesity and cognitive impairment have primarily utilized male subjects. Nevertheless, estrogens’ effects on neuron structure suggest the importance of exploring sex differences in the outcomes of obesogenic diets. The present study examined the effect of a Western-style Diet (WSD) on dendritic complexity of male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. All females were ovariectomized (OVX); half were implanted with a slow-release 17 ß-estradiol pellet (OVX+E). Rats were terminated following a ten-week diet exposure, and brains were removed and prepared with Golgi-Cox method. Stained neurons were imaged and digitally reconstructed. Results demonstrated WSD-fed OVX+E rats exhibited significantly reduced dendritic branches and terminal tips in the entorhinal cortex (EC), and decreased average dendritic length in the hippocampus compared to control-fed counterparts. Sholl analysis revealed WSD reduced neuronal complexity in the EC of OVX+E rats and in the hippocampus of male and OVX rats, suggesting differential susceptibility to diets.


Friday March 17, 2017 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Leyburn Library