An extraordinary degree of structural specificity is required in neural phospholipids for optimal brain function: n-6 docosapentaenoic acid substitution for docosahexaenoic acid leads to a loss in spatial task performance
Article first published online: 31 AUG 2005
Journal of Neurochemistry
Volume 95, Issue 3, pages 848–857, November 2005
How to Cite
Lim, S.-Y., Hoshiba, J. and Salem, N. (2005), An extraordinary degree of structural specificity is required in neural phospholipids for optimal brain function: n-6 docosapentaenoic acid substitution for docosahexaenoic acid leads to a loss in spatial task performance. Journal of Neurochemistry, 95: 848–857. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2005.03427.x
- Issue published online: 31 AUG 2005
- Article first published online: 31 AUG 2005
- Received February 18, 2005; accepted July 5, 2005.
- artificial rearing;
- docosahexaenoic acid;
- docosapentaenoic acid;
- Morris water maze;
- n-3 essential fatty acid deficiency
This study was conducted to determine whether provision of preformed dietary docosapentaenoic acid (DPAn-6) can replace docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for brain function as assessed by spatial task performance. A newly modified artificial rearing method was employed to generate n-3 fatty acid-deficient rats. Newborn pups were separated from their mothers at 2 days of age and given artificial rat milk containing linoleic acid (LA), or LA supplemented with 1% DHA (DHA), 1% DPAn-6 (DPA) or 1% DHA plus 0.4% DPAn-6 (DHA/DPA). The animals were then weaned onto similar pelleted diets. At adulthood, behavioural tasks were administered and then the brains were collected for fatty acid analysis. The LA and DPA groups showed a lower (63–65%) brain DHA than the dam-reared, DHA and DHA/DPA groups and this loss was largely compensated for by an increase in brain DPAn-6. The brain fatty acid composition in the DPA group was the same as that in the LA group at adulthood. In the Morris water maze, the LA and DPA groups exhibited a longer escape latency than the dam-reared and DHA groups and had a defect in spatial retention. In conclusion, DPAn-6 could not replace DHA for brain function, indicating a highly specific structural requirement for DHA.