Increased plasma d-lactic acid associated with impaired memory in rats

T. L. Hanstock, P. E. Mallet, E. H. Clayton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Aim: d-Lactic acidosis is associated with memory impairment in humans. Recent research indicates that d-lactic acid may inhibit the supply of energy from astrocytes to neurons involved with memory formation. However, little is known about the effects of increased hind-gut fermentation due to changes in diet on circulating lactic acid concentrations and memory. 

    Method: Thirty-six male Wistar rats were fed three dietary treatments: a commercial rat and mouse chow, a soluble carbohydrate based diet or a fermentable carbohydrate based diet. The parameters estimating memory were examined by employing the object recognition test. Physical parameters of fermentation including hind-gut and plasma lactic acid concentrations were examined after sacrifice, either 3 or 21. h after feeding. 

    Results: Increased fermentation in the hind-gut of rats, indicated by lower caecum pH, was associated with increased plasma l-lactic acid (r= -0.41, p= 0.020) and d-lactic acid (r= -0.33, p= 0.087). Memory, being able to discriminate between a familiar and a novel object during the object recognition test, was reduced with increasing plasma d-lactic acid (r= -0.51, p= 0.021).

     Conclusions: Memory impairment was associated with alterations in plasma d-lactic acid following the fermentation of carbohydrate in the hind-gut. Further work is still required to determine whether these effects are mediated centrally or via direct connections through the enteric nervous system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)653-659
    Number of pages7
    JournalPhysiology and Behavior
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 02 Dec 2010


    Dive into the research topics of 'Increased plasma d-lactic acid associated with impaired memory in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this