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Neurosci Lett. 2007 Mar 26;415(2):154-8. Epub 2007 Jan 7.

Omega-3 fatty acids upregulate adult neurogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA. bbeltz@wellesley.edu

Abstract

Omega-3 fatty acids play crucial roles in the development and function of the central nervous system. These components, which must be obtained from dietary sources, have been implicated in a variety of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, the presence of omega-6 fatty acids may interfere with omega-3 fatty acid metabolism. The present study investigated whether changes in dietary ratios of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids influence neurogenesis in the lobster (Homarus americanus) brain where, as in many vertebrate species, neurogenesis persists throughout life. The factors that regulate adult neurogenesis are highly conserved among species, and the crustacean brain has been successfully utilized as a model for investigating this process. In this study, lobsters were fed one of three diets that differed in fatty acid content. These animals were subsequently incubated in 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) to detect cells in S-phase of the cell cycle. A quantitative analysis of the resulting BrdU-labeled cells in the projection neuron cluster in the brain shows that short-term augmentation of dietary omega-3 relative to omega-6 fatty acids results in significant increases in the numbers of S phase cells, and that the circadian pattern of neurogenesis is also altered. It is proposed that the ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids may alter neurogenesis via modulatory influences on membrane proteins, cytokines and/or neurotrophins.

PMID:
17240063
PMCID:
PMC1892224
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2007.01.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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