"Golden" tomato (GT) plays a protective role in metabolic dysfunction induced by High-Fat Diet (HFD). Our aim is to characterize the phytonutrient composition of the juice and explore the influence of GT, orally administered for one month, on cognitive impairment associated with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) in male rats. We investigated reactivity, stress response and memory, together with brain neurotrophic/inflammatory signaling. Our data showed that HFD-induced functional modifications were ameliorated by GT nutritional supplementation. In particular, the behavioural reactivity improved in HFD/GT rats, that also showed a better performance in tests measuring anxiety and anhedonia. Furthermore, GT consumption rescued the declarative memory impairment. Lastly, GT supplementation counteracted HFD-induced brain alterations in PI3KAkt and MAPK/ERK signalling pathways. In conclusion, this study provides evidence of the importance of food supplementation with GT in the protection from neuroinflammation and cognitive alterations associated with MetS. All rights reserved, Elsevier.

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