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Am J Med Sci. 2015 Sep;350(3):212-7. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0000000000000531.

The Antipsychotic Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Rats.

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Departments of Psychiatry (MHK, USC) and Physiology (RD), Faculty of Medicine, Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey; and Departments of Psychiatry (SI) and Physiology (OE), Faculty of Medicine, Gaziosmanpasa University, Tokat, Turkey.



In humans, omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for cell membranes, brain function and nerve transmission continuation. When animals are exposed to a new environment-or as a result of an apomorphine application that creates an agonistic effect on D1 and D2 receptors-they display behavioral reactions like rearing and stereotypy. This study aims to reveal the possible antipsychotic and oxidative effects of omega-3 fatty acids by comparing with chlorpromazine, a conventional antipsychotic drug, through evaluating the novelty-induced rearing and apomorphine-induced stereotypic behaviors, as well as malondialdehyde and glutathione levels in rats.


Twenty-eight, adult, male, Wistar rats were used in the study. Briefly, 4 groups of rats (n = 7) were administered docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) + eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (300 mg/kg; DHA: 120 mg/kg + EPA: 180 mg/kg intraperitoneally [IP]), DHA + EPA (150 mg/kg; DHA: 60 mg/kg + EPA: 90 mg/kg IP), chlorpromazine (1 mg/kg, IP) and isotonic saline (1 mL/kg, IP). One hour later, apomorphine (2 mg/kg, subcutaneously) was administered to each rat. After the apomorphine administration, rats were observed for stereotypic behavior.


This study shows that omega-3 fatty acids, "similar to antipsychotics," reversed the psychotic like effects, increase of oxidants and decrease of antioxidants that are composed experimentally in rats.


The application of omega-3 fatty acids has antipsychotic effects and causes an oxidative imbalance. This study adds new evidence to the current literature regarding the possible antipsychotic effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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