Dietary omega-3 fatty acids attenuate cellular damage after a hippocampal ischemic insult in adult rats – Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, May 1, 2009

The role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (3PUFAs) on brain function is increasingly demonstrated. [3PUFAs are “essential” nutrients, meaning they must be obtained in the diet because the human body can’t synthesize them. Mostly found in oily fish or fish/krill oil.]

Here, the effect of dietary deprivation of essential 3PUFAs on some parameters related to neuroprotection was investigated. Rats were fed with two different diets:

• Omega-3 diet

• And omega-3-deprived diet.

To assess the influence of 3PUFAs on brain responses to ischemic insult [restricted blood supply], hippocampal slices were subjected to an oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) model of in vitro ischemia.

• The omega-3-deprived group showed higher cell damage and stronger decrease in the [3H]glutamate uptake after OGD.

• Moreover, omega-3 deprivation influenced antiapoptotic cell response [anti-cell death] after OGD, affecting GSK-3beta and ERK1/2, but not Akt, phosphorylation.

Taken together, these results suggest that 3PUFAs are important for cell protection after ischemia and also seem to play an important role in the activation of antiapoptotic signaling pathways.

Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, May 1, 2009. Moreira JD, Knorr L, Thomazi AP, Simao F, Battu C, Oses JP, Gottfried C, Wofchuk S, Salbego C, Souza DO, Perry ML, Vinade L. Biochemistry Department, Biochemistry Postgraduate Program, ICBS, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. [E-mail:]

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