Difference of brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and pyramid cell count during mastication of food with varying hardness
Keywords:Hippocampus, Mastication, Pyramidal cell, BDNF
Previous studies suggested that mastication activity can affect learning and memory function. However, most were focused on mastication impaired models by providing long-term soft diet. The effects of chewing food with various hardness, especially during the growth period, remain unknown. Objective: To analyze the difference of hippocampus function and morphology, as characterized by pyramidal cell count and BDNF expression in different mastication activities. Materials and Methods: 28-day old, post-weaned, male-Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups (n=7); the first (K0) was fed a standard diet using pellets as the control, the second (K1) was fed soft food and the third (K2) was fed hard food. After eight weeks, the rats were decapitated, their brains were removed and placed on histological plates made to count the pyramid cells and quantify BDNF expression in the hippocampus. Data collected were compared using one-way ANOVA. Results: Results confirmed the pyramid cell count (K0=169.14±27.25; K1=130.14±29.32; K2=128.14±39.02) and BDNF expression (K0=85.27±19.78; K1=49.57±20.90; K2=36.86±28.97) of the K0 group to be significantly higher than that of K1 and K2 groups (p<0.05); no significant difference in the pyramidal cell count and BNDF expression was found between K1 and K2 groups (p>0.05). Conclusion: A standard diet leads to the optimum effect on hippocampus morphology. Food consistency must be appropriately suited to each development stage, in this case, hippocampus development in post-weaned period.