Study Title:

The influence of the ketogenic diet on the elemental and biochemical compositions of the hippocampal formation.

Study Abstract

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that dietary therapies, mainly the ketogenic diet, may be highly effective in the reduction of epileptic seizures. All of them share the common characteristic of restricting carbohydrate intake to shift the predominant caloric source of the diet to fat. Catabolism of fats results in the production of ketone bodies which become alternate energy substrates to glucose. Although many mechanisms by which ketone bodies yield its anticonvulsant effect are proposed, the relationships between the brain metabolism of the ketone bodies and their neuroprotective and antiepileptogenic action still remain to be discerned. In the study, X-ray fluorescence microscopy and FTIR microspectroscopy were used to follow ketogenic diet-induced changes in the elemental and biochemical compositions of rat hippocampal formation tissue. The use of synchrotron sources of X-rays and infrared allowed us to examine changes in the accumulation and distribution of selected elements (P, S, K, Ca, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Se) and biomolecules (proteins, lipids, ketone bodies, etc.) with the micrometer spatial resolution. The comparison of rats fed with the ketogenic diet and rats fed with the standard laboratory diet showed changes in the hippocampal accumulation of P, K, Ca, and Zn. The relations obtained for Ca (increased level in CA3, DG, and its internal area) and Zn (decreased areal density in CA3 and DG) were analogous to those that we previously observed for rats in the acute phase of pilocarpine-induced seizures. Biochemical analysis of tissues taken from ketogenic diet-fed rats demonstrated increased intensity of absorption band occurring at 1740 cm(-1), which was probably the result of elevated accumulation of ketone bodies. Moreover, higher absolute and relative (3012 cm(-1)/2924 cm(-1), 3012 cm(-1)/lipid massif, and 3012 cm(-1)/amide I) intensity of the 3012-cm(-1) band resulting from increased unsaturated fatty acids content was found after the treatment with the high-fat diet. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Status Epilepticus".

Study Information

Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Aug;49:40-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2015.04.042. Epub 2015 May 16.

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