Emerging Science and Related Research

Positive Effects of DHA in Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury results in 53,000 deaths in the U.S. every year (Figure), with nearly twice that number suffering permanent disability, including diminished cognitive ability. Treatments with long-term benefits are few and of limited effectiveness.  Progesterone may have neurological benefits and is in a Phase III clinical trial for patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. Attention has also turned to the potential effects of DHA in preventing and ameliorating traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. DHA involvement in neuronal membrane structure and function, learning and memory, as well as neuroplasticity…

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Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid: Are They Different?

Trevor A Mori, Ph.D., Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Many of the cardiovascular benefits ascribed to omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids were initially attributed to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) rather than docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It was suggested that some of the effects of EPA were due to its being a competitive inhibitor of arachidonic acid for the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes, leading to prostaglandins and leukotrienes with attenuated bioactivity compared with the respective arachidonic acid analogues. However, we now know that…

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Is Suicide in US Military Personnel Related to Low DHA Status?

Suicide is a global problem that is more prevalent among adolescents, the elderly, war veterans and active-duty military personnel. The latter are of particular concern regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, among whom suicide is the second leading cause of death (13.1%) compared with the ninth rank for the general US adult population (1.8%). Up to 2009, the number of suicides exceeded the number of combat deaths in the US military. Although a past attempted suicide is a strong predictor of suicide, other conditions, such as mental disorders, including depressive…

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The Development of Chemoresistance: A New Immune Cell-Activating Mechanism Involving Uncommon Lipids that Mediate a Stem Cell Response to Genotoxicity

This article at a glance This study identifies the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid hexadecatetraenoic acid (16:4 n-3) as a ligand of GPR120, a receptor studied for its role in regulating inflammation, energy metabolism and satiety. 16:4 n-3, previously identified as a fatty acid released by mesenchymal stem cells following the exposure to platinum-containing chemotherapeutic drugs, activated GPR120 in a specific population of macrophages in the spleen. GPR120-positive splenic macrophages activated by 16:4 n-3 produced a unique lysophospholipid, lysophosphatidylcholine with esterified nervonic acid (lysoPC(24:1)), which mediated a chemoresistance response to platinum-based…

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A Multilayered Biomaterial for Vectorial Release of DHA-Derived RvD1 to Restrain Local Tissue Inflammatory Responses and Disorders

This article at a glance A thin, pliable, biodegradable multi-layered material incorporating the DHA-derived lipid mediator resolvin D1 (RvD1) was developed. The thin-film device allowed sustained diffusion of RvD1 from the surface with the lowest copolymer density, permitting one-sided release. RvD1 could be released from the thin-film device into arterial tissue, and activated anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and anti-migratory activity in smooth muscle cells. Thin-film devices eluting specific pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs), such as RvD1, may be further developed for applications in surgical and endovascular interventions to lower or resolve local inflammatory…

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F3-Isoprostanes and F4-Neuroprostanes: Non-enzymatic Cyclic Oxygenated Metabolites of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Biomarkers and Bioactive Lipids

Jean-Marie Galano, Camille Oger, Valérie Bultel-Poncé, Guillaume Reversat, Alexandre Guy, Joseph Vercauteren, Claire Vigor, Thierry Durand. Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM), UMR 5247, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, ENSCM, Montpellier, France.   Thierry Durand Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron (IBMM), UMR 5247, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, ENSCM, Montpellier (France). Phone: +33 4 11 75 95 58 / Email: Thierry.Durand@umontpellier.fr   Abstract: The isoprostanoids are non-enzymatic oxygenated metabolites derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) formed in vivo by free radical mechanism. Those cyclic oxygenated metabolites named isoprostanes (IsoPs) were originally discovered…

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Positive Selection of an Indel Polymorphism in the FADS Gene Cluster May be Driving Long-Chain PUFA Biosynthetic Capacity in Specific Human Populations.

This article at a glance This study reports a 22-bp nucleotide insertion-deletion (indel) genetic polymorphism that may be causally related to the control of gene expression of the fatty acid desaturases, enzymes that control the biosynthesis of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) from 18-carbon PUFA. The population frequency of the indel (rs66698963) is remarkably different among human populations with the insertion being far more frequent in South Asians, Africans and some East Asian populations, and far less common in European and other East Asian populations. The polymorphism has a significant…

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The Impact of Common Gene Variants on EPA and DHA Status and Responsiveness to Increased Intakes

Professor Anne Marie Minihane Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, UK Website: https://www.uea.ac.uk/medicine/people/profile/a-minihane   Setting the Scene A large body of human prospective epidemiology, as well as rodent feeding studies, have demonstrated the beneficial impact of the “marine” long chain n-3 PUFA (LC n-3 PUFA), EPA (20:5n-3) and DHA (22:6n-3), on fetal development, and cardiovascular and cognitive health. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been less congruent, with this apparent lack of consistency likely attributable to a whole host of determinants of…

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ISSFAL 2012

The 10th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) convened May 26-30, in Vancouver, Canada, overlooking the North Shore Mountains, Coal Harbor and Stanley Park. Three days packed with meetings, breakfast workshops, plenary and poster sessions, exhibits and a gala dinner brought together scientists and others from 33 countries. All share an interest in current research on the biochemistry, health effects and genomics of fatty acids and lipids. The conference program and abstracts can be downloaded here. Selected highlights from the meeting include:…

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Stepping Stones to Treating Alzheimer’s Disease: Is Insulin the Key?

Descriptions of Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive degenerative condition that robs its victims of their memory, cognitive function, language and ability to take care of themselves, centers on the accumulation of abnormal proteins amyloid-beta and tau. Amyloid-beta proteins form plaques outside the cell, while tau builds up inside the cell to form neurofibrillary tangles (Figure 1). It remains uncertain whether these abnormalities are a cause or consequence of the disease. Neither do we know what causes Alzheimer’s disease, nor can we cure it. Recently, however, there has been a great leap…

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