Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 3146–3153 | Cite as

Endogenous Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Prevents Aβ1–42 Oligomer-Induced Neuronal Injury

  • Yuan Tan
  • Huixia Ren
  • Zhe Shi
  • Xiaoli Yao
  • Chengwei He
  • Jing-X Kang
  • Jian-Bo Wan
  • Peng Li
  • Ti-Fei Yuan
  • Huanxing Su


The intake of the polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or n-3 fatty acid has been associated with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in epidemiological reports. However, the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. Here, we report that exogenous DHA administration could protect neurons against Aβ oligomer-induced injury both in vitro and in vivo, partly through reducing the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and preventing cell apoptosis. In transgenic fat-1 mice with enriched ω-3 fatty acids, Aβ oligomers induced fewer neuronal losses, when compared to wild-type (WT) mice. We conclude that endogenous DHA are neuroprotective in pathogenesis processes of AD.


Alzheimer’s disease Aβ oligomers DHA Omega-3 Fat-1 mice 



This study is supported by the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (018/2013/A1), matching grant project MRG003/SHX/2014/ICMS, and multi-year research grant, university of Macau, MYRG122 (Y1-L3)-ICMS12-SHX and MYRG110 (Y1-L2)-ICMS13-SHX (H.S.). The study is also supported by “Hundred Talents program,” “Qing Lan Project” of Nanjing Normal University, and Jiangsu Provincial Natural Science Foundation (No. BK20140917) (T-F.Y.).

Conflicts of Interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuan Tan
    • 1
  • Huixia Ren
    • 1
  • Zhe Shi
    • 1
  • Xiaoli Yao
    • 2
  • Chengwei He
    • 1
  • Jing-X Kang
    • 3
  • Jian-Bo Wan
    • 1
  • Peng Li
    • 1
  • Ti-Fei Yuan
    • 4
  • Huanxing Su
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical SciencesUniversity of MacauMacaoChina
  2. 2.Department of Neurology, National Key Clinical Department and Key Discipline of Neurology, The First Affiliated HospitalSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Laboratory for Lipid Medicine and Technology, The Department of MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.School of PsychologyNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina

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