Dietary fat plays an important role in higher brain functions. We aimed to assess the short and long term intake of three different types of dietary fat (soybean oil, lard, and fish oil) on anxiety-like and depression-like behavior in mice. For the short term intake assessment, a behavioral test battery for anxiety and depression was carried out for a 3-day feeding period. For the long term intake assessment, a behavioral test battery began after the 4-week feeding period. During the short term intake, the time spent in the open arms of the elevated plusmaze was the longest in the fish oil fed group, followed by the soybean oil and lard-fed groups. The elevated plus-maze is a common animal model to assess anxiety, in which an increased time spent in the open arms indicates an anxiolytic effect. The difference between the fish oil-fed group and lard-fed group was statistically significant (p < 0.01), but there was no significant difference between the soybean oil-fed group and the other two groups. Similar results were observed after a 4-week feeding period. On the other hand, there was no significant difference among the three groups in behavior tests to evaluate depression. Thus, the dietary fat types appeared to influence anxiety but not depression in mice, both in short term (3 days) and long term (4 weeks) feeding.
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