Lipids

, Volume 36, Issue 9, pp 859–871

The role of docosahexaenoic acid in retinal function

  • Brett G. Jeffrey
  • Harrison S. Weisinger
  • Martha Neuringer
  • Drake C. Mitchell
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11745-001-0796-3

Cite this article as:
Jeffrey, B.G., Weisinger, H.S., Neuringer, M. et al. Lipids (2001) 36: 859. doi:10.1007/s11745-001-0796-3

Abstract

An important role for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) within the retina is suggested by its high levels and active conservation in this tissue. Animals raised on n-3-deficient diets have large reductions in retinal DHA levels that are associated with altered retinal function as assessed by the electroretinogram (ERG). Despite two decades of research in this field, little is known about the mechanisms underlying altered retinal function in n-3-deficient animals. The focus of this review is on recent research that has sought to elucidate the role of DHA in retinal function, particularly within the rod photoreceptor outer segments where DHA is found at its highest concentration. An overview is also given of human infant studies that have examined whether a neonatal dietary supply of DHA is required for the normal development of retinal function.

Abbreviations

AA

arachidonic acid

ALA

α-linolenic acid

DHA

docosahexaenoic acid

E

cGMP phosphodiesterase

EPA

eicosapentaenoic acid

ERG

electroretinogram

IPR

isolated probe response

IRBP

interphotoreceptor retinal binding proteins

ISI

interstimulus interval

LC-PUFA

long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

PE

phosphatidylethanolamine

ROS

rod outer segment

RPE

retinal pigment epithelium

Copyright information

© AOCS Press 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brett G. Jeffrey
    • 1
    • 3
  • Harrison S. Weisinger
    • 2
    • 4
  • Martha Neuringer
    • 3
  • Drake C. Mitchell
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Flinders Medical CentreThe Flinders University of South AustraliaBedford ParkAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Food ScienceRoyal Melbourne Institute of Technology UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Oregon Regional Primate Research CenterOregon Health and Science UniversityPorland
  4. 4.Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and BiophysicsNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of HealthBethesda
  5. 5.Oregon Regional Primate Research CenterOregon Health and Science UniversityBeaverton