A number of studies suggest a protective action of the fatty acidDHA in cognitive decline and in Alzheimer disease (AD). However, themolecular mechanism is not understood. In a paper appearing online onSeptember 8 in advance of print publication of the October 1 issue ofthe Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nicolas Bazan andcolleagues from Louisiana State University identify a specificmechanism by which DHA is neuroprotective in AD.
The authors report that DHA can decrease levels of thepathogenic Abeta peptides that are associated with Alzheimer diseasepathology in human brain cells. Meanwhile, the synthesis ofneuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), an endogenous DHA-derived messenger, isupregulated. NPD1 inhibits apoptosis triggered by Abeta peptides. In ahuman AD donor brain, the authors show that DHA and NPD1 are reduced invulnerable brain regions.
This data raises the possibility that NPD1 is a key regulatorof cell survival, and might be manipulated for the development of noveltherapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases.
TITLE: A role for docosahexaenoic acid-derived neuroprotectin D1 in neural cell survival and Alzheimer disease
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