Send to

Choose Destination
Neuromolecular Med. 2016 Sep;18(3):426-40. doi: 10.1007/s12017-016-8414-x. Epub 2016 Jun 1.

Synaptogenesis: Modulation by Availability of Membrane Phospholipid Precursors.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, Uludag University Medical School, Gorukle Campus, 16059, Bursa, Turkey.


Phospholipids are the main constituents of brain membranes. Formation of new membranes requires that uridine, the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and choline, the three circulating precursors of major phospholipids, interact via the Kennedy pathway. Supplementation of laboratory rodents with uridine, DHA and choline enhances the amount of brain membranes as well as synaptic proteins and increases the number of dendritic spines, the essential cytological precursor of new synapses. Hence, the newly formed membranes are utilized for synaptogenesis which underlies increased synaptic functioning evidenced by enhanced neurotransmission and cognition. In addition, this supplementation ameliorates the degeneration in a rat model of Parkinson's disease and mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) when used in combination with several vitamins and cofactors. Hence, accumulating evidence shows that increasing the availability of phospholipid precursors, vitamins and cofactors to the brain through dietary supplementation enhances the formation of new synapses and provides protection under neurodegenerative conditions. The combination has been tested in clinical trials and a medication has been marketed for early-stage AD patients.


Alzheimer’s disease; Choline; Cognition; Docosahexaenoic acid; Synaptogenesis; Uridine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center