Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 267–273 | Cite as

Acetyl transport mechanisms. Involvement of N-Acetyl aspartic acid in de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in the developing rat brain

  • A. F. D'AdamoJr.
  • L. I. Gidez
  • F. M. Yatsu


The incorporation into fatty acids of N-acetyl aspartic acid, labeled in the acetyl group, was investigated during brain growth and development. Parasagittal injection of the acetyl amino acid into rats of various ages resulted in maximum incorporation just before and during myelination, a period in which the endogenous N-acetyl aspartic acid increases rapidly. The results indicate that the only barrier to the uptake of this compound is at the blood-brain barrier. Gas liquid chromatographic analysis of the fatty acid methyl esters isolated by mild base hydrolysis showed that the labeled fatty acids were primarily the C16 and C18 long-chain acids. These results indicate that N-acetyl aspartic acid is actively involved in de novo fatty acid synthesis throughout growth and development of the brain. It is suggested that, in the brain, N-acetyl aspartic acid is a constituent of the acetyl transport system for extra-mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis.

Key Words

De novo fatty acid synthesis Acetyl transport mechanisms N-acetyl aspartic acid Brain development 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. F. D'AdamoJr.
    • 1
  • L. I. Gidez
    • 1
  • F. M. Yatsu
    • 1
  1. 1.Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and the Departments of Biochemistry and MedicineAlbert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA

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