Interventions for preventing cognitive dysfunction post traumatic brain injury (TBI) is limited. Given that adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) after brain injury contributes to cognitive recovery, and that the AHN is potentially affected by nutritional factors, we asked whether fasting could promote AHN and thus ameliorates cognitive defects after TBI. Here we show that a one-month intermittent fasting (IF) regimen enhanced proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of hippocampus 3 days post TBI, as well as improved cognitive performance in Morris water maze (MWM) test. Furthermore, an increase in hippocampal Npy expression was detected in IF group after injury, compared to the mice fed ad libitum (AL), and locally knock-down of Npy in vivo attenuated the aforementioned effects of IF in TBI. These findings suggest that IF promotes AHN following TBI by a mechanism involving enhancement of Npy expression, which may offer novel interventions that might prevent cognitive dysfunction caused by injury.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience