Chronic n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency
alters dopamine vesicle density in the rat frontal cortex

by
Zimmer L, Delpal S, Guilloteau D,
Aioun J, Durand G, Chalon S
ISERM U316,
Laboratoire de Biophysique Medicale et Pharmaceutique,
Faculte de Pharmacie,
31 Avenue Monge,
37200, Tours, France.
Neurosci Lett 2000 Apr 21; 284(1-2):25-8


ABSTRACT

We studied the effects of a chronic deficiency in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) on the vesicle dopaminergic compartment in the frontal cortex of rats. Electronic micrographic analysis showed that the synaptic density and the clear vesicle density were similar in deficient and control rats. However, dopaminergic immunolabeling revealed a significantly decreased number of gold-labeled vesicles in the dopaminergic presynaptic terminals of the deficient rats. These findings demonstrate that dopamine cortical vesicles are specifically decreased in n-3 PUFA deficiency. The mechanism leading to this modification could involve several abnormalities (vesicle turn-over, membrane fluidity, vesicular monoamine transporter). This reduction in the dopaminergic vesicle pool constitutes the first structural support for the previously described modifications of dopamine metabolism in the frontal cortex. Such changes in dopamine neurotransmission could be involved in behavioral abnormalities occurring in n-3 PUFA deficient rats.
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