Neuroprotective effects of diets containing olive oil and DHA/EPA in a mouse model of cerebral ischemia

Rafael Gonzalo-Gobernado, María Irene Ayuso*, Loredana Sansone, Juan José Bernal-Jiménez, Víctor Darío Ramos-Herrero, Enrique Sánchez-García, Teresa L. Ramos, Rocío Abia, Francisco J.G. Muriana, Beatriz Bermúdez, Joan Montaner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and while there is increasing evidence that a Mediterranean diet might decrease the risk of a stroke, the effects of dietary fat composition on stroke outcomes have not been fully explored. We hypothesize that the brain damage provoked by a stroke would be different depending on the source of dietary fat. To test this, male C57BL/6J mice were fed for 4 weeks with a standard low-fat diet (LFD), a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fatty acids (HFD-SFA), an HFD containing monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) from olive oil (HFD-OO), or an HFD containing MUFAs from olive oil plus polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) docosahexaenoic acid/eicosapentaenoic acid (DHA/EPA) (HFD-OO-ω3). These mice were then subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo). Behavioural tests and histological analyses were performed 24 and/or 48 h after tMCAo in order to elucidate the impact of these diets with different fatty acid profiles on the ischemic lesion and on neurological functions. Mice fed with HFD-OO-ω3 displayed better histological outcomes after cerebral ischemia than mice that received an HFD-SFA or LFD. Furthermore, PUFA-and MUFA-enriched diets improved the motor function and neurological performance of ischemic mice relative to those fed with an LFD or HFD-SFA. These findings support the use of DHA/EPA-omega-3-fatty acid supplementation and olive oil as dietary source of MUFAs in order to reduce the damage and protect the brain when a stroke occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1109
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Behaviour
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • DHA
  • EPA
  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo)
  • MUFA
  • Neurological function
  • Neuroprotection
  • Olive oil
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • PUFA
  • SFA
  • Stroke


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