Dietary ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) influences the expression of a number of genes in the brain. Zinc transporter (ZnT) 3 has been identified as a putative transporter of zinc into synaptic vesicles of neurons and is found in brain areas such as hippocampus and cortex. Neuronal zinc is involved in the formation of amyloid plaques, a major characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. The present study evaluated the influence of dietary ω-3 PUFA on the expression of the ZnT3 gene in the brains of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats were raised and/or maintained on a control (CON) diet that contained ω-3 PUFA or a diet deficient (DEF) in ω-3 PUFA. ZnT3 gene expression was analyzed by using real-time PCR, free zinc in brain tissue was determined by zinquin staining, and total zinc concentrations in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Compared with CON-raised animals, DEF-raised animals had increased expression of ZnT3 in the brain that was associated with an increased level of free zinc in the hippocampus. In addition, compared with CON-raised animals, DEF-raised animals had decreased plasma zinc level. No difference in cerebrospinal fluid zinc level was observed. The results suggest that overexpression of ZnT3 due to a perinatal ω-3 PUFA deficiency caused abnormal zinc metabolism in the brain. Conceivably, the influence of dietary ω-3 PUFA on brain zinc metabolism could explain the observation made in population studies that the consumption of fish is associated with a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Field of Research
060405 Gene Expression (incl Microarray and other genome-wide approaches)
Socio Economic Objective
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact email@example.com.