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Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1311; doi:10.3390/molecules21101311

Chlorella sorokiniana Extract Improves Short-Term Memory in Rats

1
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia 71121, Italy
2
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
3
STAR Agroenergy Research Group, University of Foggia, Via Gramsci, 89-91, Foggia 71121, Italy
4
Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council, via Pola 4, Lesina 71010, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
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Abstract

Increasing evidence shows that eukaryotic microalgae and, in particular, the green microalga Chlorella, can be used as natural sources to obtain a whole variety of compounds, such as omega (ω)-3 and ω-6 polyunsatured fatty acids (PUFAs). Although either beneficial or toxic effects of Chlorella sorokiniana have been mainly attributed to its specific ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs content, the underlying molecular pathways remain to be elucidated yet. Here, we investigate the effects of an acute oral administration of a lipid extract of Chlorella sorokiniana, containing mainly ω-3 and ω-6 PUFAs, on cognitive, emotional and social behaviour in rats, analysing possible underlying neurochemical alterations. Our results showed improved short-term memory in Chlorella sorokiniana-treated rats compared to controls, without any differences in exploratory performance, locomotor activity, anxiety profile and depressive-like behaviour. On the other hand, while the social behaviour of Chlorella sorokiniana-treated animals was significantly decreased, no effects on aggressivity were observed. Neurochemical investigations showed region-specific effects, consisting in an elevation of noradrenaline (NA) and serotonin (5-HT) content in hippocampus, but not in the prefrontal cortex and striatum. In conclusion, our results point towards a beneficial effect of Chlorella sorokiniana extract on short-term memory, but also highlight the need of caution in the use of this natural supplement due to its possible masked toxic effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chlorella sorokiniana; short-term memory; emotional behaviour; serotonin; noradrenaline; hippocampus Chlorella sorokiniana; short-term memory; emotional behaviour; serotonin; noradrenaline; hippocampus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Morgese, M.G.; Mhillaj, E.; Francavilla, M.; Bove, M.; Morgano, L.; Tucci, P.; Trabace, L.; Schiavone, S. Chlorella sorokiniana Extract Improves Short-Term Memory in Rats. Molecules 2016, 21, 1311.

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