Omega-3 Fatty Acids Reverse Age-Related Decreases in Nuclear Receptors and Increase Neurogenesis in Old Rats

Neuroscience Centre, ICMS, St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Whitechapel, London, United Kingdom.
Journal of Neuroscience Research (Impact Factor: 2.59). 08/2010; 88(10):2091-102. DOI: 10.1002/jnr.22390
Source: PubMed


Retinoic acid receptors (RARs), retinoid X receptors (RXRs), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are transcription factors involved in many cellular processes, such as learning and memory. RAR and RXR mRNA levels decrease with ageing, and the decreases can be reversed by retinoic acid treatment, which also alleviates age-related memory deficits. The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have neuroprotective effects in the aged brain and are endogenous ligands of RXR and PPAR. We investigated whether dietary EPA and DHA supplementation reverses age-related declines in protein levels of these receptors in rat forebrain. Two studies were conducted comparing adult and old rats. In the first, old rats were fed standard or EPA/DHA-enriched (270 mg/kg/day, EPA to DHA ratio 1.5:1) diets for 12 weeks. Analysis by Western blot revealed significant decreases in RARalpha, RXRalpha, RXRbeta, and PPARgamma in the forebrain with ageing, which were reversed by supplementation. Immunohistochemical analysis of the hippocampus showed significant age-related decreases in RARalpha and RXRbeta expression in CA1 and the dentate gyrus, which were restored by supplementation. Decreases in hippocampal doublecortin expression were also partially alleviated, suggesting a positive effect on neurogenesis. We also investigated the effects of DHA supplementation (300 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks) on RARalpha, RXRalpha, and RXRbeta expression in the prefrontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus. Overall, DHA supplementation appeared to increase receptor expression compared with the untreated old group. These observations illustrate additional mechanisms that might underlie the neuroprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids in ageing.

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Available from: Simon C Dyall, Oct 14, 2014
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    • "Many women now use alternative therapies for postmenopausal health including dietary soy and isoflavone supplements instead of, or in addition to, traditional hormone therapy (Newton et al., 2002; Kurzer, 2003). Moreover, n − 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been suggested as being involved in the development and maintenance of learning memory performance (Gamoh et al., 1999; Hashimoto et al., 2009a, 2011; Dyall et al., 2010; Boucher et al., 2011). The n− 3 PUFAs ameliorated endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rats (Matsumoto et al., 2009), and led to attenuation of the contractile responses of isolated resistance arteries (MacLeod et al., 1994). "
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    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Life sciences
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    • "It has been shown that the hippocampal expression of retinoic receptors is a good indicator of vitamin A status and intracellular availability of RA. Indeed, several studies have demonstrated age-related decreases in mRNA expression or protein levels of retinoid receptors in mice and rat brain (Enderlin et al., 1997; Etchamendy et al., 2001; Feart et al., 2005; Mingaud et al., 2008; Dyall et al., 2010) indicating a decreased bioavailability of the ligand. More specifically, age-induced decreased RARβ in the whole brain has been associated with memory deficits and all these effects can be normalized by RA treatment (Etchamendy et al., 2001). "
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