ABSTRACT: Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder resulting from deficiency of branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase complex leading to branched chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine, and valine accumulation as well as their corresponding transaminated branched-chain α-keto acids. MSUD patients present neurological dysfunction and cognitive impairment. Here, we investigated whether acute and chronic administration of a BCAA pool causes impairment of acquisition and retention of avoidance memory in young rats. We have used two administration protocols. Acute administration consisted of three subcutaneous administrations of the BCAA pool (15.8 μL/g body weight at 1-h intervals) containing 190 mmol/L leucine, 59 mmol/L isoleucine, and 69 mmol/L valine or saline solution (0.85% NaCl; control group) in 30 days old Wistar rats. Chronic administration consisted of two subcutaneous administrations of BCAA pool for 21 days in 7 days old Wistar rats. N-acetylcysteine (NAC; 20 mg/kg) and deferoxamine (DFX; 20 mg/kg) co administration influence on behavioral parameters after chronic BCAA administration was also investigated. BCAA administration induced long-term memory impairment in the inhibitory avoidance and CMIA (continuous multiple-trials step-down inhibitory avoidance) tasks whereas with no alterations in CMIA retention memory. Inhibitory avoidance alterations were prevented by NAC and DFX. BCAA administration did not impair the neuropsychiatric state, muscle tone and strength, and autonomous function evaluated with the SHIRPA (SmithKline/Harwell/ImperialCollege/RoyalHospital/Phenotype Assessment) protocol. Taken together, our results indicate that alterations of motor activity or emotionality probably did not contribute to memory impairment after BCAA administration and NAC and DFX effects suggest that cognition impairment after BCAA administration may be caused by oxidative brain damage.
Behavioural brain research 03/2012; 231(1):92-6. · 3.22 Impact Factor