Modulation of learning and neuronal membrane composition in the rat by essential fatty acid preparation: Time-course analysis

Shlomo Yehuda, Sharon Rabinovitz, David I. Mostofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that chronic administration of SR-3 (a 1:4 mixture of α-linolenic and linoleic acid) affects spatial learning, thermoregulation, pain threshold and protection from seizures. The mode of action is unknown. One possible explanation is that the preparation induces changes in the fatty acids profile and in the cholesterol level in the neuronal membrane. This study used 15 independent groups of rats (n = 12) which were given either saline, mineral oil (vehicle) or SR-3 (25 mg/kg) for 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks. The learning performance was measured in the Morris Water tank and the fatty acids profile and the cholesterol level were examined by the GC method in synaptosomes obtained from the frontal cortex of the rats. SR-3 improved the learning performance and induced major changes in the neuronal membrane composition, such as an increase in the total level of fatty acids, an increase in the level of essential fatty acids and a decrease in the cholesterol level. Those changes occurred after 3 weeks of treatment. The biochemical variables can predict the behavioral variables but not vice versa. The changes in the neuronal membrane may result in a modification of the membrane fluidity, which may, in turn, enhance cognitive and neuropharmacological effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-634
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical Research
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1998

Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • Linoleic acid
  • Morris Water tank
  • Rat cortex
  • α-linolenic acid

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