Combination of high fat diet and chronic stress retracts hippocampal dendrites

Sarah E. Baran, Adam M. Campbell, Jonathan K. Kleen, Cainan H. Foltz, Ryan L. Wright, David M. Diamond, Cheryl Conrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Adult male rats were fed a low or high fat diet and given psychosocial stress (crowded and unstable housing with daily predator exposure) for 3 weeks. Neither stress nor high fat diet, alone, produced dendritic atrophy; only the group given the combination of stress and high fat diet developed a reduction of the length and number of branch points of apical dendrites of CA3 neurons. These findings indicate that a synergy between high fat diet and stress caused a retraction of CA3 dendrites. The findings are consistent with work on peripheral (e.g., cardiovascular) systems demonstrating a synergy between stress and high fat diet, and are relevant toward understanding how diet and stress interact to adversely affect brain and memory processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 19 2005


  • Atrophy
  • Brain
  • CA3
  • High fat diet
  • Hippocampus
  • Psychological stress
  • Synergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Combination of high fat diet and chronic stress retracts hippocampal dendrites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this