, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 65–70

The effect of docosahexaenoic acid on the electroretinogram of the guinea pig

  • Harrison S. Weisinger
  • Algis J. Vingrys
  • Andrew J. Sinclair
Symposium on Dietary Fat and Neural Development

DOI: 10.1007/BF02522413

Cite this article as:
Weisinger, H.S., Vingrys, A.J. & Sinclair, A.J. Lipids (1996) 31: 65. doi:10.1007/BF02522413


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is found in consistently high concentrations in the retinae of mammals, yet its role in vision remains unclear. In this study, a mammalian model of variable retinal DHA concentration has been developed, such that the retinal phospholipids of guinea pigs contained between 2.5 and 30.8% DHA. Visual function was assessed using full-field flash electroretinography, over a range of exposure levels spanning six log units. Trend analysis indicated that retinal function was altered by the tissue DHA level, and was described by a second-order polynomial “inverted U-shaped” function. The results suggested that although some amount of DHA is essential for normal retinal function increases in the DHA level past an optimal amount, found to be 19%, provided diminishing returns. In this study, manipulation of the retinal DHA level accounted for 21–35% of the electroretinographic variability.



Docosapentaenoic acid


canola oil


docosahexaenoic acid




fish oil


laboratory chow (commercial chow)


polyunsaturated fatty acids


safflower oil

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harrison S. Weisinger
    • 1
  • Algis J. Vingrys
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Sinclair
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Optometry and Vision ScienceUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Food Scienceroyal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

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