Central amygdala is related to the reduction of aggressive behavior by monosodium glutamate ingestion during the period of development in an ADHD model rat

Front Nutr. 2024 May 3;11:1356189. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2024.1356189. eCollection 2024.


INTRODUCTION: Monosodium glutamate (MSG), an umami substance, stimulates the gut-brain axis communication via gut umami receptors and the subsequent vagus nerves. However, the brain mechanism underlying the effect of MSG ingestion during the developmental period on aggression has not yet been clarified. We first tried to establish new experimental conditions to be more appropriate for detailed analysis of the brain, and then investigated the effects of MSG ingestion on aggressive behavior during the developmental stage of an ADHD rat model.

METHODS: Long-Evans, WKY/Izm, SHR/Izm, and SHR-SP/Ezo were individually housed from postnatal day 25 for 5 weeks. Post-weaning social isolation (PWSI) was given to escalate aggressive behavior. The resident-intruder test, that is conducted during the subjective night, was used for a detailed analysis of aggression, including the frequency, duration, and latency of anogenital sniffing, aggressive grooming, and attack behavior. Immunohistochemistry of c-Fos expression was conducted in all strains to predict potential aggression-related brain areas. Finally, the most aggressive strain, SHR/Izm, a known model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was used to investigate the effect of MSG ingestion (60 mM solution) on aggression, followed by c-Fos immunostaining in aggression-related areas. Bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotomy was performed to verify the importance of gut-brain interactions in the effect of MSG.

RESULTS: The resident intruder test revealed that SHR/Izm rats were the most aggressive among the four strains for all aggression parameters tested. SHR/Izm rats also showed the highest number of c-Fos + cells in aggression-related brain areas, including the central amygdala (CeA). MSG ingestion significantly decreased the frequency and duration of aggressive grooming and attack behavior and increased the latency of attack behavior. Furthermore, MSG administration successfully increased c-Fos positive cell number in the intermediate nucleus of the solitary tract (iNTS), a terminal of the gastrointestinal sensory afferent fiber of the vagus nerve, and modulated c-Fos positive cells in the CeA. Interestingly, vagotomy diminished the MSG effects on aggression and c-Fos expression in the iNTS and CeA.

CONCLUSION: MSG ingestion decreased PWSI-induced aggression in SHR/Izm, which was mediated by the vagus nerve related to the stimulation of iNTS and modulation of CeA activity.

PMID:38765817 | PMC:PMC11099272 | DOI:10.3389/fnut.2024.1356189