Aurantiochytrium mangrovei Sk-02 was grown in a medium containing glucose (40 g/l), yeast extract (10 g/L) and sea salts (15 g/L) at temperatures ranging from 12 to 35°C. The fastest growth (µmax= 0.15 h-1) and highest fatty acid content of 415 mg/g-dry cell weight were found in the cells grown at 30°C. However, the cells grown at 12°C showed the highest percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (48.6% of total fatty acid). The percentage of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and pentadecanoic acid (C15:0) decreased with an increase in the growth temperature, whereas, palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0) and DPA (C22:5n6) increased with an increase in the growth temperature. The composition of the major lipid class (%w/w) was slightly affected by the growth temperature. The fluidity of the organelle membrane or intracellular lipid (by DPH measurement) decreased with an increase in the growth temperatures, while the plasma membrane fluidity (by TMA-DPH measurement) could still maintain its fluidity in a wide range of temperatures (15 - 37°C). Furthermore, the distribution of DHA was found to be higher (36 – 54%) in phospholipid (PL) as compared to neutral lipid (NL) (20 - 41%).
Anisotropy measurement; Aurantiochytrium sp.>; Docosahexaenoic acid; lipid class composition; membrane fluidity
Thraustochytrids, marine protists known to accumulate polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in lipid droplets, are considered an alternative to fish oils as a source of PUFAs. The major fatty acids produced in thraustochytrids are palmitic acid (C16:0), n − 6 docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) (C22:5n − 6), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (C22:6n − 3), with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (C20:5n − 3) and arachidonic acid (AA) (C20:4n − 6) as minor constituents. We attempted here to alter the fatty acid composition of thraustochytrids through the expression of a fatty acid Δ5 desaturase gene driven by the thraustochytrid ubiquitin promoter. The gene was functionally expressed in Aurantiochytrium limacinum mh0186, increasing the amount of EPA converted from eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) (C20:4n − 3) by the Δ5 desaturase. The levels of EPA and AA were also increased by 4.6- and 13.2-fold in the transgenic thraustochytrids compared to levels in the mock transfectants when ETA and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) (C20:3n − 6) were added to the culture at 0.1 mM. Interestingly, the amount of EPA in the transgenic thraustochytrids increased in proportion to the amount of ETA added to the culture up to 0.4 mM. The rates of conversion and accumulation of EPA were much higher in the thraustochytrids than in baker's yeasts when the desaturase gene was expressed with the respective promoters. This report describes for the first time the finding that an increase of EPA could be accomplished by introducing the Δ5 desaturase gene into thraustochytrids and indicates that molecular breeding of thraustochytrids is a promising strategy for generating beneficial PUFAs.
Baffled shake flask cultivation of Aurantiochytrium sp. B-072 was carried out at in a glucose-monosodium glutamate mineral medium at different C/N-ratios (30–165) with glucose fixed at 90 g/L. With increasing C/N-ratio, a modest increase in lipid content (60 to 73 % w/w) was observed whereas fat-free biomass decreased but overall biomass showed little variation. FA-profiles were not affected to a large extent by C/N-ratio and absolute docosahexaenoic (DHA)-levels fell in narrow range (5–6 g/L). However at C/N > 64 a rapid decrease in lipid synthetic rate and/or incomplete glucose utilization occurred. Glucose and FA-fluxes based on fat-free biomass peaked at a C/N ratio of 56. This condition was chosen for calculation of the redox balance (NAD(P)H) and energy (ATP) requirement and to estimate the in vivo P/O ratio during the main period of fatty acid biosynthesis. Several models with different routes for NADPH, acetyl-CoA formation and re-oxidation of OAA formed via ATP-citrate lyase were considered as these influence the redox- and energy balance. As an example, using a commonly shown scheme whereby NADPH is supplied by a cytosolic “transhydrogenase cycle” (pyruvate-OAA-malate-pyruvate) and OAA formed by ATP-citrate lyase is recycled via import into the mitochondria as malate, the calculated NADPH-requirement amounted to 5.5 with an ATP-demand of 10.5 mmol/(g fat-free biomass x h) and an in vivo P/O-ratio (not including non-growth associated maintenance) of 1.6. The lowest ATP requirement is found when acetyl-CoA would be transported directly from the mitochondria to the cytosol by carnitine acetyltransferase. Assay of some enzymes critical for NADPH supply indicates that activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, the first enzyme in the HMP pathway, is far insufficient for the required NADPH-flux and malic enzyme must be a major source. Activity of the latter (ca. 300 mU/mg protein) far exceeds that in oleaginous fungi and yeast.
Aurantiochytrium; C/N-ratio; Docosahexaenoic acid; Fatty acid flux; P/O ratio
The properties of Trematosphaeria mangrovei laccase enzyme purified on Sephadex G-100 column were investigated. SDS–PAGE of the purified laccase enzyme showed a single band at 48 kDa. The pure laccase reached its maximal activity at temperature 65 °C, pH 4.0 with Km equal 1.4 mM and Vmax equal 184.84 U/mg protein. The substrate specificity of the purified laccase was greatly influenced by the nature and position of the substituted groups in the phenolic ring. The pure laccase was tested with some metal ions and inhibitors, FeSO4 completely inhibited laccase enzyme and also highly affected by (NaN3) at a concentration of 1 mM. Amino acid composition of the pure enzyme was also determined. Carbohydrate content of purified laccase enzyme was 23% of the enzyme sample. The UV absorption spectra of the purified laccase enzyme showed a single peak at 260–280 nm.
Marine-derived fungi; Laccase; Trematosphaeria mangrovei; Characterization
The lipid compositions of barophilic bacterial strains which contained docosahexaenoic acid (DHA [22:6n-3]) were examined, and the adaptive changes of these compositions were analyzed in response to growth pressure. In the facultatively barophilic strain 16C1, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) were major components which had the same fatty acid chains. However, in PE, monounsaturated fatty acids such as hexadecenoic acid were major components, and DHA accounted for only 3.7% of the total fatty acids, while in PG, DHA accounted for 29.6% of the total fatty acids. In response to an increase in growth pressure in strain 16C1, the amounts of saturated fatty acids in PE were reduced, and these decreases were mainly balanced by an increase in unsaturated fatty acids, including DHA. In PG, the decrease in saturated fatty acids was mainly balanced by an increase in DHA. Similar adaptive changes in fatty acid composition were observed in response to growth pressure in obligately barophilic strain 2D2. Furthermore, these adaptive changes in response were also observed in response to low temperature in strain 16C1. These results confirm that the general shift from saturated to unsaturated fatty acids including DHA is one of the adaptive changes in response to increases in pressure and suggest that DHA may play a role in maintaining the proper fluidity of membrane lipids under high pressure.
Background. Accumulation of free fatty acids leads to lipid-toxicity-associated skeletal muscle atrophy. Palmitate treatment reduces myoblast and myotube growth and causes apoptosis in vitro. It is not known if omega-3 fatty acids will protect muscle cells against palmitate toxicity. Therefore, we examined the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on skeletal muscle growth. Methods. Mouse myoblasts (C2C12) were differentiated to myotubes, and then treated with 0 or 0.5 mM palmitic acid or 0 or 0.1 mM DHA. Results. Intramyocellular lipid was increased in palmitate-treated cells but was prevented by DHA-palmitate cotreatment. Total AMPK increased in DHA+ palmitate-treated compared to palmitate only cells. RpS6 phosphorylation decreased after palmitate (−55%) and this was blunted by DHA+ palmitate (−35%) treatment. Palmitate treatment decreased PGC1α protein expression by 69%, but was increased 165% with DHA+ palmitate (P = 0.017) versus palmitate alone. While palmitate induced 25% and 90% atrophy in myotubes (after 48 hours and 96 hours, resp.), DHA+ palmitate treatment caused myotube hypertrophy of ~50% and 100% after 48 and 96 hours, respectively. Conclusion. These data show that DHA is protective against palmitate-induced atrophy. Although DHA did not activate the AMPK pathway, DHA treatment restored growth-signaling (i.e., rpS6) and rescued palmitate-induced muscle atrophy.
Long chain fatty acids influence inflammation through a variety of mechanisms; many of these are mediated by, or at least associated with, changes in fatty acid composition of cell membranes. Changes in these compositions can modify membrane fluidity, cell signaling leading to altered gene expression, and the pattern of lipid mediator production. Cell involved in the inflammatory response are typically rich in the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, but the contents of arachidonic acid and of the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can be altered through oral administration of EPA and DHA. Eicosanoids produced from arachidonic acid have roles in inflammation. EPA also gives rise to eicosanoids and these often have differing properties from those of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids. EPA and DHA give rise to newly discovered resolvins which are anti-inflammatory and inflammation resolving. Increased membrane content of EPA and DHA (and decreased arachidonic acid content) results in a changed pattern of production of eicosanoids and resolvins. Changing the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response also affects production of peptide mediators of inflammation (adhesion molecules, cytokines etc.). Thus, the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response influences their function; the contents of arachidonic acid, EPA and DHA appear to be especially important. The anti-inflammatory effects of marine n-3 PUFAs suggest that they may be useful as therapeutic agents in disorders with an inflammatory component.
leukocyte; neutrophil; macrophage; monocyte; eicosanoid; cytokine; interleukin; fish oil
Bioactivities of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) depend on their chemical forms. The present study was to investigate short term effects of triglyceride (TG), ethyl ester (EE), free fatty acid (FFA) and phospholipid (PL) forms of omega-3 fatty acid (FA) on lipid metabolism in mice, fed high fat or low fat diet.
Male Balb/c mice were fed with 0.7% different Omega-3 fatty acid formulation: DHA bound free fatty acid (DHA-FFA), DHA bound triglyceride (DHA-TG), DHA bound ethyl ester (DHA-EE) and DHA bound phospholipid (DHA-PL) for 1 week, with dietary fat levels at 5% and 22.5%. Serum and hepatic lipid concentrations were analyzed, as well as the fatty acid composition of liver and brain.
At low fat level, serum total cholesterol (TC) level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL were significantly lower than that in the control group (P < 0.05). Hepatic TG level decreased significantly in mice fed diets with DHA-TG (P < 0.05), DHA-EE (P < 0.05) and DHA-PL (P < 0.05), while TC level in liver was significantly lower in mice fed diets with TG and EE compared with the control group (P < 0.05). At high fat level, mice fed diets with DHA-EE and DHA-PL had significantly lower hepatic TC level compared with the control diet (P < 0.05). Hepatic PL concentration experienced a significant increase in mice fed the diet with PL at high fat level (P < 0.05). Furthermore, both at low and high fat levels, hepatic DHA level significantly increased and AA level significantly decreased in all forms of DHA groups (P < 0.05), compared to control groups at two different fat levels, respectively. Additionally, cerebral DHA level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL significantly increased compared with the control at high fat level (P < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed among dietary treatments for mice fed diets with low fat level.
The present study suggested that not only total dietary fat content but also the molecular forms of omega-3 fatty acids contributed to lipid metabolism in mice. DHA-PL showed effective bioactivity in decreasing hepatic and serum TC, TG levels and increasing omega-3 concentration in liver and brain.
Omega-3 fatty acid; DHA; EPA; Lipid metabolism; Triglycerides; Ethyl ester; Phospholipids
The primary objective of these investigations was to determine the fatty acid composition of the mouse retina as affected by diabetes. Additionally, in order to ascertain if there is any accumulation of lipids in the diabetic retina as occurs in many diabetic tissues, its total fatty acid content was also determined.
Lipids in the retina of normal and diabetic mice were trans-methylated with methanolic HCl. The esters so prepared were analyzed for fatty acids by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, qualitatively as well as quantitatively.
The major fatty acids in the retina were palmitic (PA), oleic (OA), stearic (SA), arachidonic (AA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids. The content of all these fatty acids increased significantly in the diabetic retina, reflecting lipidosis. The major increases (∼3 times the normal) were found in PA, OA, SA and AA. The increase in DHA, however, was much less (∼1.4 times). The relative percentages of fatty acids were also affected. While the relative percentages of PA and OA increased in the diabetic retina, there were insignificant changes in the percentages of SA and AA. Interestingly, the relative percentage of DHA underwent a significant decrease, about 50% of the normal.
The results show that there is excessive accumulation of lipids in the diabetic retina. This is consistent with the known increased mobilization of lipids from the adipose tissue and their accumulation in other tissues under diabetic conditions. On a percentage profile basis, while the relative percentage of most of the fatty acids increased, the DHA percentage significantly decreased. This could be explained by its dilution by the fatty acids coming from the fat depots which lack DHA. Physiologically, the excessive accumulation of fatty acids in the diabetic retina correlates with the lipofuscinosis and neural dysfunction associated with this disease.
Fatty acids; Diabetic retina; Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of fatty acids
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are considered essential omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition. In marine microalgae EPA and/or DHA are allegedly involved in the regulation of membrane fluidity and thylakoid membrane functioning. The cellular content of EPA and DHA may therefore be enhanced at low temperature and irradiance conditions. As a result, polar and cold temperate marine microalgal species might potentially be suitable candidates for commercial EPA and DHA production, given their adaptation to low temperature and irradiance habitats.
In the present study we investigated inter- and intraspecific EPA and DHA variability in five polar and (cold) temperate microalgae. Intraspecific EPA and DHA content did not vary significantly in an Antarctic (Chaetoceros brevis) and a temperate (Thalassiosira weissflogii) centric diatom after acclimation to a range of irradiance levels at two temperatures. Interspecific variability was investigated for two Antarctic (Chaetoceros brevis and Pyramimonas sp. (Prasinophyceae)) and three cold-temperate species (Thalassiosira weissflogii, Emiliania huxleyi (Prymnesiophyceae) and Fibrocapsa japonica (Raphidophyceae)) during exponential growth. Interspecific variability was shown to be much more important than intraspecific variability. Highest relative and absolute levels of DHA were measured in the prymnesiophyte E. huxleyi and the prasinophyte Pyramimonas sp., while levels of EPA were high in the raphidophyte F. japonica and the diatoms C. brevis and T. weissflogii. Yet, no significant differences in LC-PUFA content were found between polar and cold-temperate species. Also, EPA and DHA production rates varied strongly between species. Highest EPA production rate (174 μg L-1 day-1) was found in the Antarctic diatom Chaetoceros brevis, while DHA production was highest in the cold-temperate prymnesiophyte Emiliania huxleyi (164 μg L-1 day-1). We show that, following careful species selection, effective mass cultivation of marine microalgae for EPA and DHA production may be possible under low temperature and irradiance conditions.
Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Thalassiosira weissflogii; Chaetoceros brevis; Fibrocapsa japonica; Emiliania huxleyi; Pyramimonas sp.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the n-3 essential fatty acid that is highly enriched in the brain, increases neurite growth and synaptogenesis in cultured mouse fetal hippocampal neurons. These cellular effects may underlie the DHA-induced enhancement of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory functions. We found that N-docsahexaenoylethanolamide (DEA), an ethanolamide derivative of DHA, is a potent mediator for these actions. This is supported by the observation that DHA is converted to DEA by fetal mouse hippocampal neuron cultures and a hippocampal homogenate, and DEA is present endogenously in the mouse hippocampus. Furthermore, DEA stimulates neurite growth and synaptogenesis at substantially lower concentrations than DHA, and it enhances glutamatergic synaptic activities with concomitant increases in synapsin and glutamate receptor subunit expression in the hippocampal neurons. These findings suggest that DEA, an ethanolamide derivative of DHA, is a synaptogenic factor, and therefore we suggest utilizing the term ‘synaptamide’. This brief review summarizes the neuronal production and actions of synaptamide and describes other N-docosahexaenoyl amides that are present in the brain.
N-Docosahexaenoylethanolamide; Synaptamide; DHA; Hippocampus; Neuron; Anandamide; N-Docosahexaenoyl-amino acylamide
The growth of Dictyostelium discoideum Ax-2 was inhibited completely by cerulenin at a concentration of 5 mug/ml. This inhibition of growth was found to be due to the inhibition of fatty acid synthesis. Acetate incorporation into a long-chain fatty acid was inhibited completely by cerulenin, and the growth inhibition could be reversed by inclusion of certain saturated fatty acids in the medium. Unsaturated fatty acids and sterols failed to reverse the inhibitory effect. The fatty acid and sterol compositions of cerulenin-treated cells were determined to establish whether the drug could be used to manipulate the organism's lipid composition. Only relatively small manipulations were obtained under the conditions employed in this study. Cerulenin inhibited differentiation but only at high concentrations (150 mug/ml). This inhibition could be reversed by palmitic acid, suggesting that the prime cause of the inhibition was an inhibition of fatty acid synthesis. Thus, it appears that continued fatty acid synthesis is required for the cellular process of differentiation in D. discoideum.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, C22:6,n−3) has been shown to promote neurite growth and synaptogenesis in embryonic hippocampal neurons, supporting the importance of DHA known for hippocampus-related learning and memory function. In the present study, we demonstrate that DHA metabolism to DEA (N-docosahexaenoylethanolamide) is a significant mechanism for hippocampal neuronal development, contributing to synaptic function. We found that a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor URB597 potentiates DHA-induced neurite growth, synaptogenesis and synaptic protein expression. Active metabolism of DHA to DEA was observed in embryonic day 18 hippocampal neuronal cultures, which was increased further by URB597. Synthetic DEA promoted hippocampal neurite growth and synaptogenesis at substantially lower concentrations in comparison with DHA. DEA-treated neurons increased the expression of synapsins and glutamate receptor subunits and exhibited enhanced glutamatergic synaptic activity, as was the case for DHA. The DEA level in mouse fetal hippocampi was altered according to the maternal dietary supply of n−3 fatty acids, suggesting that DEA formation is a relevant in vivo process responding to the DHA status. In conclusion, DHA metabolism to DEA is a significant biochemical mechanism for neurite growth, synaptogenesis and synaptic protein expression, leading to enhanced glutamatergic synaptic function. The novel DEA-dependent mechanism offers a new molecular insight into hippocampal neurodevelopment and function.
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); N-docosahexaenoylethanolamide (DEA); hippocampus; neurite growth; neuron; synaptogenesis
H. pylori drug-resistant strains and non-compliance to therapy are the major causes of H. pylori eradication failure. For some bacterial species it has been demonstrated that fatty acids have a growth inhibitory effect. Our main aim was to assess the ability of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to inhibit H. pylori growth both in vitro and in a mouse model. The effectiveness of standard therapy (ST) in combination with DHA on H. pylori eradication and recurrence prevention success was also investigated. The effects of DHA on H. pylori growth were analyzed in an in vitro dose-response study and n in vivo model. We analized the ability of H. pylori to colonize mice gastric mucosa following DHA, ST or a combination of both treatments. Our data demonstrate that DHA decreases H. pylori growth in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, DHA inhibits H. pylori gastric colonization in vivo as well as decreases mouse gastric mucosa inflammation. Addition of DHA to ST was also associated with lower H. pylori infection recurrence in the mouse model. In conclusion, DHA is an inhibitor of H. pylori growth and its ability to colonize mouse stomach. DHA treatment is also associated with a lower recurrence of H. pylori infection in combination with ST. These observations pave the way to consider DHA as an adjunct agent in H. pylori eradication treatment.
Decreased tissue levels of n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are implicated in the etiologies of non-puerperal and postpartum depression. This study examined the effects of a diet-induced loss of brain DHA content and concurrent reproductive status on dopaminergic parameters in adult female Long–Evans rats. An α-linolenic acid-deficient diet and breeding protocols were used to produce virgin and parous female rats with cortical phospholipid DHA levels 20–22% lower than those fed a control diet containing adequate α-linolenic acid. Decreased brain DHA produced a significant main effect of decreased density of ventral striatal D2-like receptors. Virgin females with decreased DHA also exhibited higher density of D1-like receptors in the caudate nucleus than virgin females with normal DHA. These receptor alterations are similar to those found in several rodent models of depression, and are consistent with the proposed hypodopaminergic basis for anhedonia and motivational deficits in depression.
omega-3; polyunsaturated fatty acid; dopamine receptor; postpartum; docosahexaenoic acid; rat
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is required for normal brain function. The concentration of DHA in the brain depends on both diet and liver metabolism.
To determine rat brain DHA concentration and consumption in relation to dietary n-3 (omega-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content and liver secretion of DHA derived from circulating α-linolenic acid (α-LNA).
Following weaning, male rats were fed for 15 weeks either: (1) a diet with a high DHA and α-LNA content, (2) an n-3 PUFA “adequate” diet containing 4.6% α-LNA but no DHA, or (3) an n-3 PUFA “deficient” diet containing 0.2% α-LNA and no DHA. Brain DHA consumption rates were measured following intravenous infusion in unanesthetized rats of [1-14C]DHA, whereas liver and brain DHA synthesis rates were measured by infusing [1-14C]α-LNA.
Brain DHA concentrations equaled 17.6 μm/g, 11.4 μm/g and 7.14 μm/g in rats on diets 1, 2 and 3, respectively. With each diet, the rate of brain DHA synthesis from α-LNA was much less than the brain DHA consumption rate, whereas the liver synthesis-secretion rate was 5-10 fold higher. Higher elongase 2 and 5 and desaturase Δ5 and Δ6 activities in liver than in brain accounted for the higher liver DHA synthesis rates; these enzymes were transcriptionally upregulated in liver but not in brain of rats fed the deficient diet.
While DHA is essential to normal brain function, this need might be covered by dietary α-LNA when liver metabolic conversion machinery is intact and the diet has a high α-LNA content.
docosahexaenoic acid; liver; brain; rat; n-3; omega-3; PUFA; imaging; metabolism; diet; synthesis; α-linolenic acid
H. pylori colonizes half of the world's population leading to gastritis, ulcers and gastric cancer. H. pylori strains resistant to antibiotics are increasing which raises the need for alternative therapeutic approaches. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to decrease H. pylori growth and its associated-inflammation through mechanisms poorly characterized. We aimed to explore DHA action on H. pylori-mediated inflammation and adhesion to gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and also to identify bacterial structures affected by DHA. H. pylori growth and metabolism was assessed in liquid cultures. Bacterial adhesion to AGS cells was visualized by transmission electron microscopy and quantified by an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Inflammatory proteins were assessed by immunoblotting in infected AGS cells, previously treated with DHA. Bacterial total and outer membrane protein composition was analyzed by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Concentrations of 100 µM of DHA decreased H. pylori growth, whereas concentrations higher than 250 µM irreversibly inhibited bacteria survival. DHA reduced ATP production and adhesion to AGS cells. AGS cells infected with DHA pre-treated H. pylori showed a 3-fold reduction in Interleukin-8 (IL-8) production and a decrease of COX2 and iNOS. 2D electrophoresis analysis revealed that DHA changed the expression of H. pylori outer membrane proteins associated with stress response and metabolism and modified bacterial lipopolysaccharide phenotype. As conclusions our results show that DHA anti-H. pylori effects are associated with changes of bacteria morphology and metabolism, and with alteration of outer membrane proteins composition, that ultimately reduce the adhesion of bacteria and the burden of H. pylori-related inflammation.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), the major polyunsaturated fatty acid accumulated in the brain during development, has been implicated in learning and memory, but underlying cellular mechanisms are not clearly understood. Here, we demonstrate that DHA significantly affects hippocampal neuronal development and synaptic function in developing hippocampi. In embryonic neuronal cultures, DHA supplementation uniquely promoted neurite growth, synapsin puncta formation and synaptic protein expression, particularly synapsins and glutamate receptors. In DHA-supplemented neurons, spontaneous synaptic activity was significantly increased, mostly because of enhanced glutamatergic synaptic activity. Conversely, hippocampal neurons from DHA-depleted fetuses showed inhibited neurite growth and synaptogenesis. Furthermore, n-3 fatty acid deprivation during development resulted in marked decreases of synapsins and glutamate receptor subunits in the hippocampi of 18-day-old pups with concomitant impairment of long-term potentiation, a cellular mechanism underlying learning and memory. While levels of synapsins and NMDA receptor subunit NR2A were decreased in most hippocampal regions, NR2A expression was particularly reduced in CA3, suggesting possible role of DHA in CA3-NMDA receptor-dependent learning and memory processes. The DHA-induced neurite growth, synaptogenesis, synapsin, and glutamate receptor expression, and glutamatergic synaptic function may represent important cellular aspects supporting the hippocampus-related cognitive function improved by DHA.
docosahexaenoic acid; hippocampal development; long-term potentiation; neurite growth; synaptic function; synaptogenesis
Obesity increases risk for cardiomyopathy in the absence of hypertension, diabetes or ischemia. The fatty acid milieu, modulated by diet, may modify myocardial structure and function, lending partial explanation for the array of cardiomyopathic phenotypy. We sought to identify gross, cellular and ultrastructural myocardial changes associated with Western diet intake, and subsequent modification with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation. Wistar and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats received 1 of 3 diets: control (CON); Western (WES); Western + DHA (WES+DHA). After 12 weeks of treatment, echocardiography was performed and myocardial adiponectin, fatty acids, collagen, area occupied by lipid and myocytes, and ultrastructure were determined. Strain effects included higher serum adiponectin in Wistar rats, and differences in myocardial fatty acid composition. Diet effects were evident in that both WES and WES+DHA feeding were associated with similarly increased left ventricular (LV) diastolic cranial wall thickness (LVWcr/d) and decreased diastolic internal diameter (LVIDd), compared to CON. Unexpectedly, WES+DHA feeding was associated additionally with increased thickness of the LV cranial wall during systole (LVWcr/s) and the caudal wall during diastole (LVWca/d) compared to CON; this was observed concomitantly with increased serum and myocardial adiponectin. Diastolic dysfunction was present in WES+DHA rats compared to both WES and CON. Myocyte cross sectional area (CSA) was greater in WES compared to CON rats. In both fat-fed groups, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed myofibril degeneration, disorganized mitochondrial cristae, lipid inclusions and vacuolation. In the absence of hypertension and whole body insulin resistance, WES+DHA intake was associated with more global LV thickening and with diastolic dysfunction, compared to WES feeding alone. Myocyte hypertrophy, possibly related to subcellular injury, is an early change that may contribute to gross hypertrophy. Strain differences in adipokines and myocardial fatty acid accretion may underlie heterogeneous data from rodent studies.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, has been used to treat a range of different conditions, including periodontal disease (PD) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). That DHA helps with these oral and gastrointestinal diseases in which inflammation and bacterial dysbiosis play key roles, raises the question of whether DHA may assist in the prevention or treatment of other inflammatory conditions, such as the metabolic syndrome, which have also been linked with inflammation and alterations in normal host microbial populations. Here we review established and investigated associations between DHA, PD, and IBD. We conclude that by beneficially altering cytokine production and macrophage recruitment, the composition of intestinal microbiota and intestinal integrity, lipopolysaccharide- and adipose-induced inflammation, and insulin signaling, DHA may be a key tool in the prevention of metabolic syndrome.
inflammation; periodontal disease; inflammatory bowel disease; metabolic syndrome; bacterial dysbiosis; microbiome; DHA; docosahexaenoic acid; omega-3; fattyacid
Childhood is a period of brain growth and maturation. The long chain omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is a major lipid in the brain recognized as essential for normal brain function. In animals, low brain DHA results in impaired learning and behavior. In infants, DHA is important for optimal visual and cognitive development. The usual intake of DHA among toddlers and children is low and some studies show improvements in cognition and behavior as the result of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids including DHA. The purpose of this review was to identify and evaluate current knowledge regarding the relationship of DHA with measures of learning and behavior in healthy school-age children. A systematic search of the literature identified 15 relevant publications for review. The search found studies which were diverse in purpose and design and without consistent conclusions regarding the treatment effect of DHA intake or biomarker status on specific cognitive tests. However, studies of brain activity reported benefits of DHA supplementation and over half of the studies reported a favorable role for DHA or long chain omega-3 fatty acids in at least one area of cognition or behavior. Studies also suggested an important role for DHA in school performance.
docosahexaenoic acid; children; learning; behavior; school performance
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA22:6,n3) is the principal n3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the retina. The authors previously demonstrated that DHA22:6,n3 inhibited cytokine-induced adhesion molecule expression in primary human retinal vascular endothelial (hRVE) cells, the target tissue affected by diabetic retinopathy. Despite the importance of vascular inflammation in diabetic retinopathy, the mechanisms underlying anti-inflammatory effects of DHA22:6,n3 in vascular endothelial cells are not understood. In this study the authors address the hypothesis that DHA22:6,n3 acts through modifying lipid composition of caveolae/lipid rafts, thereby changing the outcome of important signaling events in these specialized plasma membrane microdomains.
hRVE cells were cultured in the presence or absence of DHA22:6,n3. Isolated caveolae/lipid raft–enriched detergent-resistant membrane domains were prepared using sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation. Fatty acid composition and cholesterol content of caveolae/lipid rafts before and after treatment were measured by HPLC. The expression of Src family kinases was assayed by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry.
Disruption of the caveolae/lipid raft structure with a cholesterol-depleting agent, methyl-cyclodextrin (MCD), diminished cytokine-induced signaling in hRVE cells. Growth of hRVE cells in media enriched in DHA22:6,n3 resulted in significant incorporation of DHA22:6,n3 into the major phospholipids of caveolae/lipid rafts, causing an increase in the unsaturation index in the membrane microdomain. DHA22:6,n3 enrichment in the caveolae/raft was accompanied by a 70% depletion of cholesterol from caveolae/lipid rafts and displacement of the SFK, Fyn, and c-Yes from caveolae/lipid rafts. Adding water-soluble cholesterol to DHA22:6,n3-treated cells replenished cholesterol in caveolae/lipid rafts and reversed the effect of DHA22:6,n3 on cytokine-induced signaling.
Incorporation of DHA22:6,n3 into fatty acyl chains of phospholipids in caveolae/lipid rafts, followed by cholesterol depletion and displacement of important signaling molecules, provides a potential mechanism for anti-inflammatory effect of DHA22:6,n3 in hRVE cells.
New and sustainable sources of long-chain (LC, ≥C20) omega-3 oils containing DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, 22:6ω3) are required to meet increasing demands. The lipid content of the oilseed of a novel transgenic, DHA-producing land plant, Camelina sativa, containing microalgal genes able to produce LC omega-3 oils, contained 36% lipid by weight with triacylglycerols (TAG) as the major lipid class in hexane extracts (96% of total lipid). Subsequent chloroform-methanol (CM) extraction recovered further lipid (~50% polar lipid, comprising glycolipids and phospholipids) and residual TAG. The main phospholipid species were phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl ethanolamine. The % DHA was: 6.8% (of total fatty acids) in the TAG-rich hexane extract and 4.2% in the polar lipid-rich CM extract. The relative level of ALA (α-linolenic acid, 18:3ω3) in DHA-camelina seed was higher than the control. Major sterols in both DHA- and control camelina seeds were: sitosterol, campesterol, cholesterol, brassicasterol and isofucosterol. C16–C22 fatty alcohols, including iso-branched and odd-chain alcohols were present, including high levels of iso-17:0, 17:0 and 19:0. Other alcohols present were: 16:0, iso-18:0, 18:0 and 18:1 and the proportions varied between the hexane and CM extracts. These iso-branched odd-chain fatty alcohols, to our knowledge, have not been previously reported. These components may be derived from wax esters, or free fatty alcohols.
DHA; docosahexaenoic acid; Camelina sativa; omega-3; long-chain PUFA; triacylglycerol; polar lipids; glycolipids; phospholipids; fish oils
During the early 1970s, Danish physicians Jorn Dyerberg and colleagues observed that Greenland Eskimos consuming fatty fishes exhibited low incidences of heart disease. Fish oil is now one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. In 2004, concentrated fish oil was approved as a drug by the FDA for the treatment of hyperlipidemia. Fish oil contains two major omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). With advancements in lipid concentration and purification techniques, EPA- or DHA-enriched products are now commercially available, and the availability of these components in isolation allows their individual effects to be examined. Newly synthesized derivatives and endogenously discovered metabolites of DHA exhibit therapeutic utility for obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
This review summarizes our current knowledge on the distinct effects of EPA and DHA to prevent metabolic syndrome and reduce cardiotoxicity risk. Since EPA is an integral component of fish oil, we will briefly review EPA effects, but our main theme will be to summarize effects of the DHA derivatives that are available today. We focus on using nutrition-based drug discovery to explore the potential of DHA derivatives for the treatment of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.
The safety and efficacy evaluation of DHA derivatives will provide novel biomolecules for the drug discovery arsenal. Novel nutritional-based drug discoveries of DHA derivatives or metabolites may provide realistic and alternative strategies for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular disease.
cardiovascular disease; dietary supplement; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; fish oil; metabolic syndrome; obesity
We investigated the effects of low-dose eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on the incidence and growth of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary carcinoma in rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet. We also examined the effects of these treatments on the fatty acid composition of tumour and serum. Tumour incidence was significantly decreased by the administration of low-dose EPA and DHA, whereas their inhibitory effects on tumour growth did not reach significance. Serum arachidonic acid (AA) level was decreased by the administration of low-dose EPA and tended to be decreased by the administration of low-dose DHA, whereas tumour AA levels were not changed. The administration of low-dose EPA and DHA may be useful for inhibiting the incidence of breast cancer.