The modulatory effect of Al-Assi river trout fish meal on OCD manifestations and molecular mechanisms in BALB/c Mice


  • Fatima Salloum
  • Mohamad Farran
  • Houssam Shaib
  • Abdo Jurjus
  • Roni Sleiman
  • Mahmoud Khalil



Background: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder that is marked by intrusive and distressing thoughts, as well as repetitive behaviors. Trout fish (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is a functional food that might have potential therapeutic effects on many neurological disorders including OCD.

Objective: This study aims to explore the effects of Al-Assi River trout fish meal, a dietary source of tryptophan, on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms and related molecular pathways in BALB/c mice.

Methods: OCD mice were divided into five groups: one control group without any treatment, one group treated with fluoxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), and three groups fed with different doses of trout fish meal (0, 7.5, and 15 g/kg body weight). The mice were subjected to various behavioral tests, such as the marble test, tail suspension test, sucrose preference test, and forced swim test, to evaluate OCD and depressive-like behaviors. Moreover, the expression and protein levels of genes involved in the serotonergic and GABAergic systems were measured.

Results: The results indicated that trout fish meal had dose-dependent effects on OCD-like behaviors, revealing exacerbation at lower doses and improvement at higher doses. For instance, in the marble test, OCD mice fed with 7.5 g of trout fish/kg body weight buried more marbles than those fed with 15 g/kg of trout fish (4.5 vs 3.33 out of 6, p>0.05). In the tail suspension test, the immobility time of OCD mice treated with fluoxetine was numerically lower than that of the untreated OCD mice (63.6 vs 87.3 seconds, p>0.05). Furthermore, normal mice had different baseline gene expression profiles than OCD mice. Normal mice had the highest fold increase of Gabra gene expression (3.75) compared to the untreated OCD group, followed by groups treated with 7.5 and 15 g of trout fish/kg body weight (2.02 and 1.44, respectively).

Conclusions: This study suggests that dietary interventions rich in tryptophan, such as trout fish meal, may have modulatory effects on OCD symptoms and molecular mechanisms in mice. However, the optimal dosing and individual variability need to be considered. More research is required to clarify the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate the potential efficacy of trout fish meal in treating OCD in humans.

Keywords: BALB/c mice, OCD, qPCR, Western blotting, Gabra, Serotonin, Trout fish, Tryptophan.





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