Intermittent fasting diet (IF) as a restrictive regimen prevents neural degeneration and stimulates overexpression of various neurotropic factors in the hippocampus of animal models. This study evaluates the potential effect of the IF in the prevention of learning and memory dysfunction and improving the alterations in the number and volume of neurons in an ethidium bromide (EB) induced mouse model of demyelination.Mice were randomly assigned into N group (Normal Diet and normal saline injection), F group (IF and normal saline injection), EBN group (Normal Diet and EB injection), EBF group (IF and EB injection). The hidden platform test was carried out based on path length, escape latency and swim speeds of mice. Stereological studies were determined by the Cavalieri and the Optical Dissector technique. Maintenance of mice on the IF results in significantly decreased the body weight and biochemical parameters, increased total number of neurons and volume of the hippocampus, and improved learning and memory parameters of adult male mice. However, IF in EBF group did not show as excellently as F group. The EBF group displayed significantly spatial memory improvement than that in EBN group. There were no statistically significant differences between EBF and EBN groups in stereological and learning parameters, though the EBF group displayed faster escape latencies, and swam faster and shorter path lengths than the EBN group in these parameters. Therefore as a conclusion, The IF fairly improved some adverse effects of EB in experimental demyelination models.
KEY WORDS: Intermittent fasting diet; Hippocampus; Demyelination; Stereology; Mice.