Omega-3-fatty acids for a healthy brain


Strategies for long-term prevention from mitochondrial dysfunction including  sufficient supply of essential nutrients may also delay the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. The present project investigates the effects of orally administered DHA- and EPA-rich fish oil (FO) on mitochondrial function in brains of young (3 months) and aged (24 months) NMRI-mice. Neuroprotective properties of FO are assessed ex vivo after 21 days in dissociated brain cells (DBC) and isolated mitochondria (mito). DHA levels are determined in blood and in brain tissue of mice. Isolated ATP levels, mitochondrial membrane potential and respiration are detemined in DBC and brain mitochondria, respectively. Recent data identified DHA-mediated increases in sAPPalpha, which were associated with protection of mitochondrial function in vitro (BBA 1808(2011)236). Accordingly, we currently investigate if sAPPalpha and/or DHA-derived metabolites such as NPD-1 are responsible for the observed beneficial effects of FO against age-related mitochondrial dysfunction in vivo. Our findings will provide new mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective actions of polyunsaturated fatty acids and identified FO as promising neutraceutical to delay age-related
cerebral alterations. Recently, we extended our portfolio and investigate the beneficial effects of fish oil for ischemic stroke using a MCAO mouse model. The project is carried out by Ph.D. student Dirk Berresem.


Ostermann AI, Reutzel M, Hartung N, Franke N,  Kutzner L, Schoenfeld K, Weylandt KH, Eckert GP, Schebb NH.
A Diet Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids Enhances Expression of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase in Murine Brain.
Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2017; S1098-8823(17)30043-6. 
[Pubmed Abstract]

Berressem D, Koch K, Franke N, Klein J, Eckert GP.
Intravenous treatment with a long-chain omega-3 lipid emulsion provides neuroprotection in a murine model of ischemic stroke - a pilot study.
PLoS ONE, 2016;11(11):e0167329. 
[Open access]

Afshordel S, Hagl S, Werner D, Rohner N, Kogel D, Bazan N, Eckert GP
Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids improve mitochondrial dysfunction in brain aging - impact of Bcl-2 and NPD-1 like metabolites
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015, 92:23-31 [Pubmed Abstract]

Eckert GP, Lipka U, Muller WE.
Omega-3 fatty acids in neurodegenerative diseases: Focus on mitochondria
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty acids, 2013, 45(1):76-80. [Pubmed Abstract]

Eckert GP, Chang S, Eckmann J, Copanaki E, Hagl S, Hener U, Müller WE, Kögel D.
Liposome-incorporated DHA increases neuronal survival by enhancing non-amyloidogenic APP processing. 
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011, 1808(1):236-43. [Open access]

© Prof. Dr. Gunter P. Eckert 2018