Depletion of omega-3 fatty acid levels in red blood cell membranes of depressive patients.

University Department of Psychiatry, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.25). 03/1998; 43(5):315-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It has been hypothesized that depletion of cell membrane n3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly docosahexanoic acid (DHA), may be of etiological importance in depression.
We measured the fatty acid composition of phospholipid in cell membranes from red blood cells (RBC) of 15 depressive patients and 15 healthy control subjects.
Depressive patients showed significant depletions of total n3 PUFA and particularly DHA. Incubation of RBC from control subjects with hydrogen peroxide abolished all significant differences between patients and controls.
These findings suggest that RBC membranes in depressive patients show evidence of oxidative damage. Possible interpretations, and implications for the etiology and treatment of depression, are discussed.

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Malcolm Peet