The chapter is called, “Interplay between lipid mediators and the immune system in the promotion of brain repair”, and looks at the interactions of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with endocannabinoids in neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and brain aging.
The brain is highly enriched in docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic (ARA) acids, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), respectively. DHA and other long-chain omega-3 PUFAs are precursors of anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators, whereas ARA is precursor of inflammatory eicosanoids, but also pro-resolving mediators. The endocannabinoid system comprises a group of bioactive lipids, receptors and enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation. 2-archidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) are the primary agonists of cannabinoid receptors in the brain, substrate for enzymes such as cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenases and cytochrome P450 mixed function oxygenases, which release ARA upon hydrolysis. The aging brain has impaired ability to balance protective and detrimental effects of the immune system and chronic low-grade neuroinflammation is a contributor to cognitive impairment and development of neurodegenerative diseases. There is a complex interplay between omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs, the endocannabinoid system and the immune system. This chapter summarises current evidence of this interplay and discusses the therapeutic potential in the promotion of brain self-repair.
Dr Simon Dyall’s Bioactive Lipids Research Lab conducts research investigating the role of bioactive lipid mediators in brain protection and repair across the lifespan and following neurotrauma.
The book, Role of the Mediterranean Diet in the Brain and Neurodegenerative Disease” is edited by Farooqui T. and Farooqui A., and is due for publication 1st November 2017 by Academic Press. Paperback ISBN: 9780128119594
Dr Simon Dyall’s Lipid Neurochemistry lab conducts research investigating the therapeutic neuroprotective potential of bioactive lipids. The latest study is a collaboration with Dr Laura de Rooy, Consultant Neonatologist at St George’s Hospital, London, the University of Roehampton and Bournemouth University, and has just been published in the journal, Clinical Nutrition.
Recent advances in neonatal care have led to improved survival rates for preterm infants, but this has led to greater challenges in providing these survivors with adequate nutrition. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) are dietary fats essential for optimal brain growth and development. During the last trimester the placenta provides the foetus with high levels of DHA and ARA and extremely preterm infants, born at less than 28 weeks, are therefore at the greatest risk of deficiency as this supply has been cut short. In this new study the DHA and ARA intakes of extremely preterm infants was measured from all sources over the first six weeks of life and compared to European intake guidelines and levels provided in utero.
The study extends earlier observations with a more detailed analysis that current feeding practices for extremely preterm infants are likely to lead to severe deficits in DHA, but importantly the study measured ARA intake for the first time, where the results show that deficits of ARA are of a potentially much greater magnitude.
“These observations are really important as we need to ensure that these infants receive the best nutrition to decrease morbidity and improve long-term outcomes. These low levels of intake occurred in spite of the infants receiving breast-milk and the results highlight the need to provide extremely premature infants with additional sources of DHA and ARA.” says Dr Dyall.
Follow-up work is currently underway investigating how intakes of DHA and ARA can be increased to compensate for these early deficits. If you would further information on this research or any of the work undertaken by the Lipid Neurochemistry lab please contact Dr Simon Dyall, email@example.com
De Rooy, L. and Hamdallah, H. Dyall, S.C. (2016): Extremely preterm infants receiving standard care receive very low levels of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids. Clinical Nutrition
The paper can be found at: http://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0261561416312778
Dr Simon Dyall has just returned from the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) 12th congress in Stellenbosch, South Africa, September 5 to 9th 2016.
“I wish to express my gratitude to the Department of Human Sciences and Public Health for their support towards my attendance at the congress, and also to the Biochemical Society”.
I presented some of our work on essential fatty acid intake in extremely preterm infants and the interaction between omega-3 fatty acids and endocannabinoid signalling in neural stem cells. The work was extremely well received and I am in the process of following up some exciting new potential collaborations.
The ISSFAL congress is held every two years and is the preeminent scientific conference on fatty acids and lipids. It brings together a wide range of researchers, clinicians, nutritionists and representatives from industry. Of course a major part of conference attendance is the potential to network, and I was able to recruit a few of the speakers to present some lectures on our new MSc in Nutrition and Behaviour.
A major highlight for me was seeing Prof Michael Crawford from Imperial College London, receive the Alexander Leaf Award. Prof Crawford has been a true pioneer in the field of brain chemistry and human nutrition, and hearing him talk about his work is always a pleasure.
We are all now looking forward to the next ISSFAL congress in Las Vegas in 2018, where we are aiming for our PhD students to present their work!
If you are interested in finding out more about this research I will be talking about some of the work on nutrition for preterm infants at the Wellbeing Seminar on October 19th in R208 between 1.00 and 2.00 pm.
Or I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dyall, S.C., De Rooy, L. and Hamdallah, H.: Extremely preterm infants receiving standard neonatal intensive care receive very low levels of AA and DHA
- Dyall, S.C., De Rooy, L. and Hamdallah, H.: Blood AA and DHA levels correlate with markers of inflammation in extremely preterm infants
- Dyall, S.C., De Rooy, L. and Hamdallah, H.: Variability of breast milk AA and DHA content from mothers of extremely preterm infants
- Dyall, S.C., De Rooy, L. and Hamdallah, H.: Relationships between dietary intake and blood levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in extremely preterm infants
- Dyall, S.C., Mandhair, H., Fincham, R., Kerr, D., Roche, M. and Molina-Holgado, F.: Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids increase levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachadonoylglycerol in neural stem cells