Arachidonic Acid, Neurotrauma, and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are important constituents of membrane phospholipids throughout the central nervous system (CNS). They serve not only to maintain the fluid crystalline state of the lipid bilayer, but also to provide the membrane with adequate flexibility necessary to stabilize regions of high curvature. The functional properties of such membranes include: maintaining suitable ion permeability, providing a substrate for cellular signal transduction, and participating in biosynthetic pathways. Since approximately half of the dry weight of neural tissue in the CNS is lipid, with a large portion being phospholipid, a considerable amount of investigation has focused on studying the relationship between lipid structure and neural function. Advances include the involvement of the inositides, phosphatidylcholine, and, recently, sphingomyelin in signal transduction processes. The functions of fatty acid metabolites (eicosanoids) and other nonmembrane lipids (steroid hormones) have also been studied quite extensively and have been shown to influence cellular function.
KeywordsFree Fatty Acid Arachidonic Acid Neurodegenerative Disease Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Essential Fatty Acid
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