Extra virgin olive oil improves learning and memory in SAMP8 mice.


Year of Publication: 
Contact PI Name: 
Susan A Farr
Contact PI Affiliation: 
St. Louis University School of Medicine/VA Medical Center, St. Louis, MO, USA
Tulin O. Price, Ligia J. Dominguez, Antonio Motisi, Filippo Saiano, Michael L. Niehoff, John E. Morley, William A. Banks, Nuran Ercal, Mario Barbagallo
Primary Reference (PubMED ID): 
Funding Source:
Study Goal and Principal Findings: 

Polyphenols are potent antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO); antioxidants have been shown to reverse age and disease-related learning and memory deficits. Was examined the effects of EVOO on learning and memory in SAMP8 mice, an age-related learning/memory impairment model associated with increased amyloid protein and brain oxidative damage.Was administered EVOO, coconut oil, or butter to 11 month old SAMP8 mice for 6 weeks. Mice were tested in T-maze foot shock avoidance and one-trial novel object recognition with a 24 h delay. Mice which received EVOO had improved acquisition in the T-maze and spent more time with the novel object in one-trial novel object recognition versus mice which received coconut oil or butter. Mice that received EVOO had improve T-maze retention compared to the mice that received butter. EVOO increased brain glutathione levels suggesting reduced oxidative stress as a possible mechanism. These effects plus increased glutathione reductase activity, superoxide dismutase activity, and decreased tissue levels of 4-hydroxynoneal and 3-nitrotyrosine were enhanced with enriched EVOO (3× and 5× polyphenols concentration). The findings suggest that EVOO has beneficial effects on learning and memory deficits found in aging and diseases, such as those related to the overproduction of amyloid- protein, by reversing oxidative damage in the brain, effects that are augmented with increasing concentrations of polyphenols in EVOO.

Therapeutic Agent

Therapeutic Information: 
Therapy Type:

Animal Model

Model Information: 
Model Type:
Strain/Genetic Background: 
Not Reported

Experimental Design

Is the following information reported in the study?: 
Power/Sample Size Calculation
Blinded for Treatment
Pharmacokinetic Measures
Toxicology Measures
Duration of Treatment
Age of Animal at the Beginning of Treatment
Sex as a Biological Variable
Number of Premature Deaths
Statistical Plan
Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria Included
Randomized into Groups
Blinded for Outcome Measures
Pharmacodynamic Measures
ADME Measures
Route of Delivery
Frequency of Administration
Age of Animal at the End of Treatment
Study Balanced for Sex as a Biological Variable
Number of Excluded Animals
Genetic Background
Conflict of Interest


Outcome MeasuredOutcome Parameters
  • T Maze
  • Object Place Recognition
  • Motor Function
  • String Suspension Test
  • Biochemical
  • Glutathione
  • Malondialdehyde (MDA)
  • Glutathione Reductase (GR)
  • Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx)
  • 3-nitrotyrosine Modified Proteins
  • HNE-Modified Proteins
  • Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
  • Lipid Peroxidation