Essential Fatty Acid Metabolism in Metabolic Syndrome and Neurological Disorders

  • Akhlaq A. Farooqui


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) are important components of neural membrane phospholipids. They are either obtained from the diet or synthesized from their dietary precursors, a-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) in liver. DHA and ARA compete for incorporation into the glycerophospholipids of neuronal membranes, and increased levels of DHA/EPA in neurons result in a decrease in the level of ARA in glycerophospholipids. ARA is released from neural phospholipids by PLA2s. This fatty acid is metabolized into eicosanoids (PGs, LTs, TXs, and LXs) by COX and LOX enzymes. High concentrations of eicosanoids produce platelet aggregation, hemorrhage, vasoconstriction, and vasodilation. ARA-derived eicosanoids not only produce proinflammatory effects but also play important homeostatic roles in regulating both the promotion and resolution of inflammation in the immune response. In contrast, DHA and EPA are metabolized into docosanoids (resolvins, neuroprotectins, and maresins), which induce antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic effects. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, MetS, and age-related neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by enhancement in synthesis of PGs, LTs, and TXs. Studies in animal models of MetS and neurodegenerative disorders indicate that the consumption of DHA and EPA produces beneficial effects by inhibiting oxidative stress and inflammation and inducing the cell survival genes.


Insulin Resistance Essential Fatty Acid Lipid Mediator Signal Transduction Process Neural Membrane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akhlaq A. Farooqui
    • 1
  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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