Polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites in brain function and disease
Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014-11-12; 15(12): 771-785
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Bazinet RP(1), Layé S(2).
(1)Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3E2, Canada.
(2)INRA, Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, UMR 1286, 33076 Bordeaux,
France. University of Bordeaux, Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, UMR
1286, 33076 Bordeaux, France.
The brain is highly enriched with fatty acids. These include the polyunsaturated
fatty acids (PUFAs) arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which are largely
esterified to the phospholipid cell membrane. Once PUFAs are released from the
membrane, they can participate in signal transduction, either directly or after
enzymatic conversion to a variety of bioactive derivatives (‘mediators’). PUFAs
and their mediators regulate several processes within the brain, such as
neurotransmission, cell survival and neuroinflammation, and thereby mood and
cognition. PUFA levels and the signalling pathways that they regulate are altered
in various neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and major
depression. Diet and drugs targeting PUFAs may lead to novel therapeutic
approaches for the prevention and treatment of brain disorders.