Propose: In this study, we evaluated the effects of different concentrations of docosahexanoic acid (DHA) supplement on preterm Sprague-Dawley rat pups, and in parallel, measured the phosphorylation activity of the mTOR pathway in the hippocampal CA1 area. Methods: Preterm Sprague-Dawley rat pups were randomly assigned to experimental groups which included; a sufficient DHA group (100 mg/kg/day); an enriched DHA group (300 mg/kg/day); an excess DHA group (800 mg/kg/day); and a deficient DHA group (normal saline gavage 0.1 ml/10 g). Body weight (g) was measured at days 1/7/14/21/28/42, respectively. Spatial learning and memory were also tested using the Morris water maze at week 6 (day 42). Finally, activation of the mTOR signaling pathway in hippocampal CA1 area were evaluated by western blotting. Results: Postnatal sufficient/enriched docosahexanoic acid supplement ameliorated body weight restriction spatial learning and memory restriction, and decreased phosphorylation of AKT, mTOR, P70S6K1, and 4EBP1 in hippocampal CA1 area. Furthermore, excess docosahexanoic acid supplement impeded weight gain and spatial learning and memory, perturbed serum unsaturated fatty acid, and downregulated phosphorylation of AKT, mTOR, P70S6K1, and 4EBP1 in hippocampal CA1 area. Conclusion: Postnatal sufficient/enriched DHA supplement ameliorated growth and spatial learning and memory impairment and upregulated the mTOR pathway in preterm pups, although excessive DHA supplement did not have any beneficial effects. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.