Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are major components of the phospholipids that forming the cell membrane. Insufficient availability of PUFAs during prenatal period decreases accretion of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the developing brain. DHA deficiency is associated with impaired attention and cognition, and would precipitate psychiatric symptoms. However, clinical studies on the potential benefits of dietary DHA supplementation to neural development have yielded conflicting results.

To further investigate the neurochemical influence of maternal PUFAs levels, we assessed the functioning of various neurotransmitter systems including glutamatergic, dopaminergic, norepinephrinergic and serotoninergic systems in the brain of neonatal female rats by HPLC-MS/MS. Meanwhile, the cell proliferation of neonatal rats was investigated using immunefluorescence.

Different maternal n-3 PUFAs dietary influenced the FA composition, cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus and the contents of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamine (GLN), dopamine (DA) and its metabolites [3,4- dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA)], norepinephrine (NE), vanilmandelic acid (VMA) and 5-HT turnover in the brain of neonatal rats. However, the mRNA expression of key synthase of neurotransmitters remains stable.

Our study showed that maternal deficiency of n-3 PUFAs might play an important role in central nervous system of neonatal female rats mainly through impairing the normal neurogenesis and influencing glutamatergic system and 5-HT turnover.

Arachidonic acid (AA); Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); Neurogenesis; Neurotransmitter system; Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)

PMID: 27048382

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