Expression of Bcl-2 and Bax after hippocampal ischemia in DHA + EPA treated rats

To determine the impact of ω3 fatty acids on post-ischemic expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins in hippocampus, male rats were received 10 or 100 mg/kg [Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) + Ecosapentaenoic acid (EPA); gavage; 21 days before ischemia to 2–10 days after ischemia]. Global cerebral ischemia reperfusion (IR) was performed using the four-vessel occlusion model; ischemia 8 min and reperfusion 6, 48 h and 10 days. IR increased Bcl-2 and Bax expression after 48 h (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 vs. sham) and 10 days (only Bax; p < 0.05), without significant difference with DHA + EPA groups after 6 h. But after 48 h expression of Bcl-2 increased (p < 0.05 vs. IR) and Bax decreased (p < 0.05). At day 10 after ischemia expression of Bax in DHA + EPA acid groups was less than IR (p < 0.05) and in 100 mg/kg DHA + EPA group Bcl-2 expression was more than IR (p < 0.05). These data suggested that long-term gavage with DHA + EPA increase hippocampal neurons survival for days after ischemia, revealed by increased Bcl-2 and decreased Bax expressions