Obesity is characterized by massive adipose tissue accumulation and is associated with psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment in human and animal models. However, it is unclear whether high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity presents a risk of psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment. To examine this question, we conducted systematic behavioral analyses in C57BL/6J mice (male, 8-week-old) fed an HFD for 7 weeks. C57BL/6J mice fed an HFD showed significantly increased body weight, hyperlocomotion in the open-field test (OFT) and Y-maze test (YMZT), and impaired sucrose preference in the sucrose consumption test, compared to mice fed a normal diet. Neither body weight nor body weight gain was associated with any of the behavioral traits we examined. Working memory, as assessed by the YMZT, and anxiety-like behavior, as assessed by the elevated plus maze test (EPMT), were significantly correlated with mice fed an HFD, although these behavioral traits did not affect the entire group. These results suggest that HFD-induced obesity does not induce neuropsychiatric symptoms in C57BL/6J mice. Rather, HFD improved working memory in C57BL/6J mice with less anxiety, indicating that an HFD might be beneficial under limited conditions. Correlation analysis of individual traits is a useful tool to determine those conditions.
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