Whey administration modulates spatial memory in a water maze
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Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Chemistry, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Kamilla Blecharz-Klin   

Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University, Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland.
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2011;5(1):16–21
Whey protein concentrate is an effective and safe cysteine donor for the cellular antioxidant glutathione (GSH). Depletion of this tripeptide in the brain may decrease with age and result in free radical-induced neuronal damage. The effect of supplementation with a whey-based cysteine donor (HMS90) was analysed in Morris water task performance in rats. Five-month- old Wistar rats received HMS90 orally at doses of 150 (HMS 150) and 300 mg/kg (HMS 300) from day 1 to day 21 of the experiment. A water maze paradigm was carried out for 4 days by training the rats using four training trials per day. In addition to acquisition latency, memory was assessed by a probe trial given 24 h after the last training trial. ANOVA for repeated measurements did not show any significant differences in acquisition in the water maze between the groups. However, in the probe trial on day 5, the HMS 150 group showed improved memory of the position of the platform, compared to the control and HMS 300 groups. Follow up data on brain content of monoamines and metabolites in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum revealed significant differences between the groups. These findings suggest that improvement of cognitive performance in rats treated with HMS90 is associated with neuroregulation in the central nervous system. We have demonstrated that HMS 90 diet results in increased noradrenaline and dopamine concentration in the prefrontal cortex, and that some of the beneficial effects of bovine whey proteins intake are related with dopamine and serotonin metabolism.
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