Despite the known importance of long-chained polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) during development, very little is known about their utilization and biosynthesis during embryogenesis. Combining the advantages of the existence of a complete range of enzymes required for LC-PUFA biosynthesis and the well established developmental biology tools in zebrafish, we examined the expression patterns of three LC-PUFA biosynthesis genes, Elovl2-like elongase (elovl2), Elovl5-like elongase (elovl5) and fatty acyl desaturase (fad) in different zebrafish developmental stages. The presence of all three genes in the brain as early as 24 hours post fertilization (hpf) implies LC-PUFA synthesis activity in the embryonic brain. This expression eventually subsides from 72 hpf onwards, coinciding with the initiation of elovl2 and fad expression in the liver and intestine, 2 organs known to be involved in adult fish LC-PUFA biosynthesis. Collectively, these patterns strongly suggest the necessity for localized production of LC-PUFA in the brain during in early stage embryos prior to the maturation of the liver and intestine. Interestingly, we also showed a specific expression of elovl5 in the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT) of the zebrafish pronephros, suggesting a possible new role for LC-PUFA in kidney development and function.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2010; 393(3):397-403. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.01.130 · 2.28 Impact Factor