Fish Oil, but Not Olive Oil, Ameliorates Depressive-Like Behavior and Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis in Rats under Chronic Mild Stress

Te Hsuan Tung, Yu Tang Tung, I. Hsuan Lin, Chun Kuang Shih, Ngan Thi Kim Nguyen, Amalina Shabrina, Shih Yi Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: This study investigated the effects of fish oil and olive oil in improving dysbiosis and depressive-like symptoms. METHODS AND RESULTS: Male rats were fed normal, fish oil-rich or olive oil-rich diets for 14 weeks. Chronic mild stress (CMS) was administered from week 2. The sucrose preference test (SPT) and forced swimming test (FST) were used to determine depressive-like behavior. The SPT results revealed that the CMS, CMS with imipramine (CMS+P) treatment, and CMS with olive oil diet (CMS+O) groups exhibited significantly reduced sucrose intake from week 8, whereas the fish oil diet (CMS+F) group exhibited significantly reduced sucrose intake from week 10. The FST results showed that the immobile time of the CMS+F group was significantly less than that of the CMS-only group. Next generation sequencing (NGS) results showed CMS significantly reduced the abundance of Lactobacillus and increased that of Marvinbryantia and Ruminiclostridium_6. However, the CMS+F group showed an increase in the abundance of Eisenbergiella, Ruminococcaceae_UCG_009, and Holdemania, whereas the CMS+O group showed an increase in the abundance of Akkermansia. CONCLUSIONS: CMS stimuli altered the gut microbiome in depressed rats. Fish oil and olive oil exerted part of a prebiotic-like effect to ameliorate dysbiosis induced by CMS. However, only fish oil ameliorated depressive-like symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 21 2019



  • chronic mild stress
  • depression
  • fish oil
  • gut microbiota
  • olive oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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