Vitamin E prevents the cognitive impairments in post-traumatic stress disorder rat model: behavioral and molecular study.
Rationale: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder developed after an exposure to severe traumatic events. Patients with PTSD suffer from different symptoms including memory impairment. In addition, PTSD is associated with oxidative stress. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, possesses cognition protective effects via its antioxidative properties.
Objectives: To investigate the impact of vitamin E on memory impairment induced by PTSD in animals.
Methods: A rat model of PTSD-like behavior and the radial arm water maze (RAWM) for testing of learning and memory paradigm were used. Rats were divided into 4 groups: control, vitamin E, PTSD, and vitamin E + PTSD.
Results: In the learning phase, results showed no significant differences among experimental groups, indicating that PTSD-like behavior did not impair learning ability in rats. However, memory tests in the RAWM showed that PTSD-like animals had impairment in both short-term and long-term memories. Vitamin E, on the other hand, prevented this impairment of memory. With respect to oxidative stress, significant decreases were detected in reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) ratio, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase enzyme activities, global histone 3 acetylation, and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the PTSD-like animals group compared with other groups (P < 0.05). Vitamin E protected the reduction of these oxidative stress biomarkers, global histone 3 acetylation, and BDNF levels.
Conclusions: Vitamin E prevented memory impairment associated with PTSD-like behavior in animals, probably via its antioxidative properties, and preservation of epigenetic changes induced in PTSD-like animals.