Fish oil improves motor function, limits blood-brain barrier disruption, and reduces Mmp9 gene expression in a rat model of juvenile traumatic brain injury.
The effects of an oral fish oil treatment regimen on sensorimotor, blood-brain barrier, and biochemical outcomes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were investigated in a juvenile rat model. Seventeen-day old Long-Evans rats were given a 15mL/kg fish oil (2.01g/kg EPA, 1.34g/kg DHA) or soybean oil dose via oral gavage 30min prior to being subjected to a controlled cortical impact injury or sham surgery, followed by daily doses for seven days. Fish oil treatment resulted in less severe hindlimb deficits after TBI as assessed with the beam walk test, decreased cerebral IgG infiltration, and decreased TBI-induced expression of the Mmp9 gene one day after injury. These results indicate that fish oil improved functional outcome after TBI resulting, at least in part from decreased disruption of the blood-brain barrier through a mechanism that includes attenuation of TBI-induced expression of Mmp9.