The blood-brain barrier in rats fed on diets high or low in saturated/unsaturated fat ratio

S. C. Phillips, B. G. Cragg, A. J. Sinclair

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The product of the permeability × vascular surface rate area (PA) of the blood-brain barrier to [14C]sucrose has been measured in rats raised on synthetic diets in which the saturated/unsaturated fat constitution was controlled at high or low levels. Gas-liquid chromatography demonstrated marked differences in brain fatty acid constitution between the dietary groups. No statistically significant difference was found between the permeability measurements in rats maintained on any of the synthetic diets. nor was there any difference from rats raised on a standard laboratory pellet food. The opportunity was taken to look at 3 other properties of brain that might be affected by lipid constitution. There was no change in the form of the membranous intracellular inclusions that can be induced by intracerebral injections of suramin, and Fink-Heimer staining of degenerating axons, which is inhibited by fat extraction, worked equally well on each diet group. The sleep time after an anaesthetic injection of alcohol was not significantly changed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1982

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