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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Dec;15(12):771-85. doi: 10.1038/nrn3820. Epub 2014 Nov 12.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites in brain function and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E2, Canada.
2
1] INRA, Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, UMR 1286, 33076 Bordeaux, France. [2] University of Bordeaux, Nutrition et Neurobiologie Intégrée, UMR 1286, 33076 Bordeaux, France.

Abstract

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.

PMID:
25387473
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3820
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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