, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 401-407

Chronic dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids deficiency affects the fatty acid composition of plasmenylethanolamine and phosphatidylethanolamine differently in rat frontal cortex, striatum, and cerebellum

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As chronic consumption of a diet devoid of n-3 fatty acid induced modification of neurotransmission pathways in the frontal cortex of rats, plasmalogen alteration could occur in this area. Because of the propensity to facilitate membrane fusion, plasmenylethanolamine (PmE), a major plasmalogen of brain, may be involved in synaptic transmission. Female rats were fed diet containing peanut oil [(n-3)-deficient diet] through two generations. Two weeks before mating, half of the female rats of the second generation received a diet containing peanut oil and rapeseed oil (control group). The distribution and acyl composition of major phospholipids, phosphatidylethanolamine and PmE, were measured in the frontal cortex, striatum, and cerebellum of the male progeny of the two groups at 60 d of age. The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) deficiency had no effect on the distribution of phospholipids in all brain regions but affected their acyl composition differently. The level of 22∶6n-3 was significantly lower and compensated for by higher levels of n-6 fatty acids in all regions and phospholipids studied. However, docosahexaenoic acid, being more concentrated in the PmE of frontal cortex, is also more decreased in the n-3-deficient rats compared to the striatum. By contrast, striatum PmE has retained more 22∶6n-3 than PmE of the other regions. In addition, the increase of n-6 PUFA was significantly lower in frontal cortex PmE compared to the striatum and cerebellum PmE. In association with altered neurotransmission observed in frontal cortex of n-3-deficient rats, our results suggest that frontal cortex PmE might be more affected in chronically α-linolenic-deficient rats. However, by retaining 22∶6n-3, striatum PmE could be most resilient.